Lenny Kravitz, Viola Davis, Donna Karan, and More Pay Tribute to Iris Apfel After Her Death

The fashion icon passed away on Friday at the age of 102.



Fashion icon and self-proclaimed "geriatric starlet” Iris Apfel died at the age of 102 on Friday (March 1). A spokesperson for Apfel's estate confirmed the news to The New York Times, telling the outlet she died at her home in Palm Beach, Fla. Meanwhile, a brief statement shared to her Instagram account captioned, “Iris Barrel Apfel, August 29, 1921 - March 1, 2024," also revealed her death. 

Apfel – who was known for her over-the-top style, which always included a vibrant color palette, layers of jewelry, and her signature round spectacles paired with a bold red lip — worked in the textile industry and designed interiors for decades before becoming a bonafide pop culture sensation. Along the way, she made meaningful connections with people across all industries, so it didn't take long before Apfel's celebrity friends began to flood the internet with tributes to the late legend.



Lenny Kravitz was one of the first to share his condolences, writing: "You mastered the art of living. Thank you for your energy and inspiration." Molly Ringwald, for her part, described Apfel as “a rare and beautiful bird," while Viola Davis commented "Godspeed" in light of the sad news.

Fashion designer Donna Karan, who celebrated Apfel's 102nd birthday with her back in August, wrote a heartfelt note to her friend on Instagram, in which she credited Iris for pushing her outside her sartorial comfort zone. "@iris.apfel had a passion for fashion like no other person. If I’d have to name who the best dressed woman in the world is, it would be Iris. From head to toe with color, jewelry, and the most beautiful little details, no one understood style like she did," Karan wrote alongside a photo of the pair.

"She inspired me to do color and more color instead of my usual black and white!" she continued, adding, "The love that surrounded her will be with her forever and ever. I’m so grateful to have known Iris and her wisdom that she shared with us. This isn’t a goodbye, it is a see you later. You’ll always be in my heart Iris with beautiful memories and I can’t thank you enough for that."

Related: Iris Apfel Doesn't Think Women Should Be In a Rush to Find Their Signature Look

Maria Shriver also shared a lengthy tribute in honor of Apfel on X (formerly Twitter), recalling the "remarkable" life she led.

“She truly did it all: she was a businesswoman, she was a fashion model, she was a fashion icon, she was a college professor, she was a star of a documentary, she was a Barbie doll! Iris is truly proof that age is just a number, and that we only have one life, so we all need to get living,” she wrote, adding: "She passed away today at 102, and in fact she still had unfinished business — a book about her life and the important moments called Colorful coming out in August. Colorful, indeed! Thank you for the inspiration, Iris!"

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