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Short, white hair; oversized black round frame glasses; Red lips; piles of bracelets and necklaces – you can’t paint this picture without ending up with a portrait of Iris Apfel. She’s a superstar for a seemingly endless list of reasons, from her unmistakable personal style to her contributions to the interior design of the White House. And now she’s becoming even more iconic after signing with one of the world’s hottest modeling agencies, IMG, at the age of 97.

“Who would think I would be a 97-year-old cover girl?” Apfel said in an interview with WWD. Maybe she was humble, but no one would ever doubt her ability to strike a pose given her experience — and all without “a proper agent,” as she put it. Apfel has modeled for MAC and Kate Spade ad campaigns, appeared on the cover of Dizzy and confusedand was the star of a Vogue Italy spread, throughout his 80s and 90s.

It’s hard to know what took so long, but IMG finally took notice and decided to add Apfel to its roster of models, which includes Kaia Gerber, Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss. “[Apfel] radiates creativity and inspiration and we are excited to explore unique new opportunities with her where her natural gifts can be shared with the world,” said IMG President Ivan Bart. WWD. At 97, Iris continues to prove that age is just a number and shouldn’t be something that defines you.”

And Apfel, who has no plans to walk the runway but looks forward to print opportunities and brand collaborations, couldn’t agree more. “I don’t think a number should make a difference and make you stop working,” she said. WWD. “I think retirement is a fate worse than death.”


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