Never too old. 

Iris Apfel, the 97-year-old businesswoman, interior designer and style icon, has been signed by IMG for worldwide representation for modelling, appearances and endorsements.

“I’m very excited. I never had a proper agent,” said Apfel, in a telephone interview to WWD on Wednesday. She said she previously handled deals herself.

“I never expected my life would take this turn so I never prepared for it. It all just happened so suddenly, and I thought at my tender age, I’m not going to set up offices and get involved with all kinds of things ... I’m very excited and very grateful,” said Apfel.

Ivan Bart, president of IMG Models and IMG Fashion Properties, noted, “Iris is an icon with immeasurable talent.

“At 97 years old, Iris continues to prove that age is just a number and shouldn’t be something that defines you,” he added.

Apfel launched and ran Old World Weavers, an international fabric manufacturing company, in 1950 with her late husband, Carl Apfel. The two were newlyweds at the time and remained married for 68 years.

The husband-and-wife duo did this until 1992 which Iris earned the nickname “First Lady of Fabric”

Today, Apfel is famous for her eclectic style. So iconic are her sartorial takes that she was the subject of an exhibit at The Costume Institute in The Metropolitan Museum of Art which ran from September 13, 2005, through January 22, 2006. Apfel was 84 when the show opened.

She has modelled for MAC makeup, and at 91, made the cover of Dazed & Confused magazine. Her book is Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon.

Addressing diversification when it comes to older models gracing the runways of fashion houses the world over, Apfel said, “I don’t think a number should make any difference and make you stop working. I think retirement is a fate worse than death. 

"I meet interesting, creative people, my juices flow and I really have a fine time.”

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