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could Iris Apfel to be the longest-serving model ever signed to a major modeling agency? IMG Models announced they signed the 97-year-old “accidental icon” on Thursday, January 31.

“I’m very excited. I’ve never had a proper agent,” she said Daily Women’s Clothing. Home to superstars like Ashley Graham, Hailey Baldwin and gigi and Bella Hadidthe management company will represent Apfel for modeling, appearances and endorsements.

Apfel made a name for herself as a businesswoman and interior designer who started her own textile company, Old World Weavers, in the 1950s. She continued to develop her status, working on nine restoration projects of the White House.

“I’m a handy girl. I never expected my life to take this turn, so I never prepared for it,” she said in her interview with WWD. “It all happened so suddenly, and I thought at my young age I wasn’t going to open offices and get involved in all kinds of things. I thought it was a flash in the pan and it won’t last.

Even though she never had “proper” representation, she is not a rookie. Apfel has starred in campaigns for Kate Spade and MAC Cosmetics as well as editorials for publications like Vogue Italia. At 91, she covered Dazed & Confused and became the oldest person to feature on a cover.

Iris Apfel attends the Accessories Council’s 22nd Annual ACE Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 11, 2018 in New York City.

Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

As a stylish older woman, she has won many fans among millennials, as well as fashion industry professionals, including designer Tommy Hilfiger, who connected her with IMG.

However, its authentic and bold aesthetic is only part of its appeal. His courage to stay active and busy is something many people admire. “I don’t think a number should make a difference and make you stop working,” she said. WWD. However, she never tried to make herself relevant. She is just who she is. And people love it.

“Iris is an icon with immeasurable talent,” said IMG Models President Ivan Bart. “She 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. At 97, Iris continues to prove that age is only a number and should not be something that defines you.

She totally agrees, saying WWD that she likes to work and does not want to stop. “I think retirement is a fate worse than death. I like to work and I like my job. We have a feeling that “too old” is an expression she never had and will never use.

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