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Iris Apfel: Fashion has to be unique

Iris Apfel: Fashion has to be unique

Iris Apfel thinks style would die if everyone looked the same.

The 93-year-old is lauded one of the world's most stylish women, with her oversized glasses and penchant for jewellery becoming wardrobe staples.

She puts her flair for fashion down to good genes, but is glad not everyone looks the same.

"It's in your DNA. My mother had a lot of style, and I suppose she passed it on to me. It was completely different from what I do but I think style is a very personal thing and I don't think you can learn it or be taught it, and if everyone had the same kind of style, it wouldn't be style anymore," Iris told British TV show Lorraine.

Her savvy style got her noticed by late director Albert Maysles, who asked if he could make a documentary on her. At first Iris was hesitant, twice denying Albert on the basis she "didn't have an ego problem" and that no one knew who she was.

However, some harsh words from Bergdorf Goodman's womenswear director Linda Fargo soon changed her mind.

"She laid me out and she said, 'Do you know what you're doing? People would drop dead just to have Albert take a still photograph! And he wants to do a documentary, how dare you deny him?' Anyway, she went on, and I said, 'Well, it's already done.' Luck would have it, he called me in the next couple of days and said, 'Have you reconsidered? Why don't you come up, we really would love for you to do it, come up to the studio in Harlem, meet the group and see what you think.' And I did and I fell in love immediately," she smiled.

"And we decided to do it, which was a great leap of faith on my part because I didn't know his work intimately but what I did know: most of it has a big social conscious and is a bit gritty. And I thought, 'What does he want with me?' But he said they'd follow me round and they would be un-intrusive. We had no script, no plan. I had no idea what I was getting into but it was a lovely experience and I'm glad I did it."

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