Video: Iris Apfel Feted for 101st Birthday at Hampton Synagogue

The Hampton Synagogue Children’s Center, Jack’s House, hosted a luxurious dinner party for inveterate fashion icon Iris Apfel’s 101st birthday in Westhampton Beach on Monday, August 29 (her actual birthdate), along with a preview for a sale of her legendary jewelry collection to benefit the center. The sale followed for two days on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Still sharp as ever, the centenarian, known for her unique personal style and years in the textile business, had more fun than anyone during the special dinner. She also explained why she’s still as flexible as a teenager!

The answer: “I’m the world’s oldest living teenager,” she told those gathered at the synagogue after they toasted her milestone 101st year.

Co-chairs for the celebration event and sale included Michelle Barnet, Bonnie Katz, Carol Levin, Michele Mirman, Donna Schneier, Simi Teitelbaum Schneier and Schneps Media President Victoria Schneps. The Hampton Synagogue is led by Rabbi Marc Schneier.

Iris Apfel hosts the 2015 Ace Awards in NYC
Iris ApfelSylvain Gaboury/PMC, ©Patrick McMullan

Iris Apfel’s Life in the Spotlight

Apfel’s storied life and career includes work as an interior designer and owner of a textile firm that had a White House contract lasting nine presidencies.

A 2005 exhibition called Rara Avis (Rare Bird): The Irreverent Iris Apfel at the The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC showed her collection of costume jewelry on mannequins dressed in Apfel’s inimitable style. It was so successful, the show traveled to three other locations and cemented Apfel’s legacy among the world’s most stylish people.

Among Apfel’s many accomplishments and moments in the proverbial sun, she was the subject of an Albert Maysles documentary, Iris, in 2014; Mattel made a Barbie doll in her image in 2018; and she signed as a model with IMG at the young age of 97 in 2019. She’s even had her portrait done in food by the great local artist Harley Langberg!

Iris Apfel – mashed potatoes, kale, dried mango, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, blackberries, turnip, rice noodles, dyed pancake, cucumber, carrot, apple, and pineapple by Harley Langberg
Iris Apfel – mashed potatoes, kale, dried mango, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, blackberries, turnip, rice noodles, dyed pancake, cucumber, carrot, apple, and pineapple by Harley LangbergCourtesy Harley Langberg

Those who were able to enjoy Apfel’s birthday with her, and get a piece from her incredible jewelry collection, are certainly counting themselves lucky!

You can keep up with Apfel’s adventures and style wisdom via her Instagram account, @iris.apfel.

To learn more about Hampton Synagogue and Jack’s House, a cause Iris Apfel wholeheartedly supports, visit thehamptonsynagogue.org.

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