Iris Apfel: Beauty Culture Icon

Iris Apfel is a beauty culture icon looked up to by those of all ages. She began her career as an interior designer, worked for WWD, and recently consults and lectures about fashion and style. I personally chose to write about her because of her philosophy behind what makes something or someone beautiful and fashionable. Aside from her amazing and eclectic style, I was draw to this particular quote:

“Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. The key to style is learning you are which takes years. There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self-expression and, above all, attitude.”

What has evolved Apfel into a style icon is her unique aesthetic and self-assurance. She created a signature look with her large glasses, printed dresses, and use of accessories. Apfel inspires women because she pushes the limits of fashion through her confidence and attitude. She is not afraid to be who she is, not shy, and doesn’t have to follow trends. 

Iris Apfel’s philosophy translates into beauty as well. You can usually find her in a bold bright lip to accent her big round glasses. Also, with pops of color on her eyes. Once again, you won’t find her following any beauty trends either. She wears what she likes and feels represents her and her style, not what others would be considered “beautiful” or “normal.”

Her main role as a beauty icon is that she encourages people to find themselves and find ways to represent who they are, not who others think they should be or look like.

Once again if we translate her philosophy into my definition of beauty “Beauty is a reflection of ourselves and our happiness. It is translated through our experiences and interests over our lifetime, and is truly unique to the individual.” As Iris Apfel has demonstrated and voiced to the public: it is about finding yourself and self expression. No one can duplicate beauty or style if they understand who they are.


The one and only Iris Apfel.
Photographed for The New York Times August 23, 2011.

Iris Apfel by Jeff Bark

Iris Apfel by Victoria Will

Iris Apfel wearing Comme des Garçons by Jeff Bark for Dazed and Confused November 2012

Iris Apfel, for Russian Harper’s Bazaar
Christopher Sturman
Tattoos: Ancient Beauty Practice

Today not many people would look twice when seeing someone with tattoos. It is a way for people to express themselves, their tastes, and their ideas of what is art and beauty. Everyone will have their own interpretation of what is a beautiful tattoo, and some may not even think they are beautiful at all.

If we look to when tattoos began it is obvious that they have always been used for different reasons. Looking back to the Ancient Egyptians, some say it signified the woman was promiscuous or a prostitute. Other than that, other cultures during this time used it as adornment to gain attention. The Sycthian Pzyryk of the Altai Mountains region were an ancient culture found adorned with tattoos of mythical creatures. It was believed that these tattoos were a sign of nobility, and not to have them was a testimony of “low birth.” Going forward, the Greeks and Romans used tattoos to mark people as belonging to a group.  

Tattoos have played a huge role in many culture around the world. Japanese culture can date tattoos back to A.D. 3rd century. In addition, many Polynesian cultures have elaborate geometric tattoos. The Maori culture of New Zealand tattooed the face as marks of high status. Tattoos were also given to warriors at different stages of life to show rite of passage and enhancing their features to make them appear more attractive to the opposite sex.

Tattoos have played a role in many cultures around the world deep into history. They were symbols of social or political stature, an adornment for beauty, or simply works of art. This beauty practice has continue and has made a big impact on fashion today. Tattooing has truly become a work of art, and those who partake in this practice get them for many different reasons.

When I defined beauty earlier I described it as “Beauty is a reflection of ourselves and our happiness. It is translated through our experiences and interests over our lifetime, and is truly unique to the individual. ” This definition holds true to the art of tattooing as well. Someones journey and reasons toward tattoos is only because of what reflects their happiness  beauty and interests.

(via Just Back: the tattooed women of Burma - Telegraph)