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Calling All Rare Birds: H&M Plans Iris Apfel Collection

Packaging a century’s worth of individual style into one collection is no easy feat but H&M will do just that in a collection co-designed by self-proclaimed “rare bird” Iris Apfel.

The fast-fashion giant announced Thursday plans to release an apparel and accessories collection in early 2022 that embraces the centenarian fashion icon’s eclectic personal style.

Known for her signature red lipstick, oversized eyewear and for wearing layers upon layers of jewelry and textural fabrics, Apfel, who celebrated her 100th birthday last week, provides a litany of inspiration for the collection. Meanwhile, her penchant for pairing high fashion with dime-store baubles fits right in line with the fast-fashion audience, not to mention the current trend toward joyful dressing.

Key pieces will include colorful coordinating sets, floral suits, tiered ruffle dresses and bright printed dresses, featuring a mix of textures, unique cuts and patterns, H&M reports. True to Apfel’s signature look, a jewelry and accessory line has also been designed to complement the wardrobe. Taking inspiration from her layered look and love of chunky statement pieces, the accessories pull from many themes including flora, fauna and worldly treasures.

All materials used in the collection will be recycled or sustainably sourced and each garment and accessory has been made with circularity in mind. Recent H&M capsule collections have included cactus leather, recycled cotton, and yarns made from castor oil.

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“I think H&M is fabulous and are absolute pioneers in their field—which I love! I love doing high style at affordable prices, which H&M has mastered,” Apfel stated in a release.

H&M announced Thursday plans to release an apparel and accessories collection in 2022 that embraces Iris Apfel’s eclectic personal style.
Iris Apfel Courtesy

Apfel, who cut her teeth in fashion as a copywriter for Sourcing Journal’s sister publication Women’s Wear Daily and went on to reproduce vintage fabrics, rose to fame in her golden years following the release of the 2015 “Iris” documentary. The film, which shined a spotlight on her personal fashion archive as well as her quick wit and endearing relationship with late husband Carl, catapulted Apfel into a “geriatric starlet” and led to collaborations with Mattel, MAC cosmetics, Happy Socks and more.

She currently sells jewelry and printed sportswear under the label Rava Avis by Iris Apfel through HSN.

“Iris epitomizes personal style—a style that is both beautifully flamboyant and eclectic as well as being totally ageless,” said Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M women’s wear creative advisor. “She shows what fashion is all about—a means to express yourself, who you are or want to be and having fun at the same time—a true inspirer!”