For her 100th birthday, fashion icon Iris Apfel aims to celebrate bold fashion – Glossy

All merchandise featured on Glossy Pop are independently chosen by our editorial workforce. However, whenever you purchase one thing by way of our retail hyperlinks, we could earn an affiliate fee.For followers of bold fashion, Iris Apfel’s 100th birthday yr is proving to be a banger — which is simply as she designed it.
On Tuesday, 5 days earlier than her 100th birthday, the inside designer-turned-fashion icon launched “The Iris Apfel Zentennial Collection” of eyewear with Zenni Optical. Complete with 5 frames in a number of colorways, the capsule is the primary authentic assortment to come out of Apfel’s four-year partnership with Zenni. It kicked off in May with an Apfel edit of 100 current Zenni frames. 
It’s the most recent in a sequence of brand name partnerships Apfel has launched since January. Also in May, Apfel curated 4 residence decor collections for Lowe’s and a colourful model assortment for Etsy. According to Apfel, extra partnerships are within the works. 
Michelle Ticknor, head of way of life and social affect partnerships at Zenni, mentioned the corporate began working with Apfel following a chilly name from her agent on the finish of final yr. “They had been enthusiastic about the alternative ways they needed to celebrate and the totally different classes that made sense for Iris, to kick off her yr,” she mentioned.  
“An outfit isn’t full with out a signature accent, or many, to exhibit your individuality. Mine are glasses — the larger and brighter, the higher,” Apfel mentioned. “I knew I had to discover a fabulous eyewear companion to launch an eyewear line.” 
A second all-new Iris x Zenni assortment is ready for this yr across the holidays, and no less than two per yr will roll out by way of 2025. Moving ahead, buyers can anticipate to see a Valentine’s Day assortment, collaborations with well-known Apfel followers and Apfel-designed equipment past eyewear, together with pouches and scarves.
Launched in 2013, Zenni is a DTC model identified for its inexpensive prescription glasses, which common $40. Its Apfel collaboration comes simply months after its launch of studying glasses. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many customers of all ages are procuring on-line for glasses for the primary time. It additionally hasn’t damage that Zoom, which affords a shoulders-up view of assembly contributors and their model, has grow to be the brand new convention room.
Zenni’s different collaborators have included designers Coco and Breezy and Cynthia Rowley, actor Rashida Jones, sports activities groups together with the San Francisco 49ers, and esports’ Call of Duty League. 
“People say, ‘Why don’t you could have extra Gen-Z companions?’” mentioned Ticknor. “But our slogan is, ‘Eyewear for everybody.’” She mentioned Zenni seems for companions who’re genuine, relatable and converse to its viewers’s values. Plus, they should be up for taking an energetic position within the partnership, moderately than be “only a figurehead.” The firm’s at the moment trying to hyperlink with folks males relate to, because it seems to develop its male viewers. 
Sales of the Iris Apfel Edit, in May, exceeded gross sales expectations, mentioned Ticknor, and the consumer skewed younger — primarily Gen Zers and millennials. It was categorized in accordance to themes representing Apfel’s passions, together with journey, flea markets, bazaars and bold shade. Her signature outsized spherical frames had been among the many kinds.  
Prior to the Zentennial launch, Zenni’s workforce traveled from San Francisco to Apfel’s Palm Beach residence 4 occasions for photoshoots design periods, which supplemented Zoom conferences and cellphone calls. They captured “an amazing quantity of content material” for lookbooks and movies that includes intimate conversations, amongst different advertising and marketing instruments. “Our final photoshoot was for 4 collections,” Ticknor mentioned.  
“[Iris] shouldn’t be knitting, stitching, {golfing}. She works,” mentioned Ticknor. “She’s one of many busiest ladies I do know.” She recalled a time in Palm Beach when Apfel mentioned that she had spent eight hours on the cellphone daily the week prior. And the Zenni crew was typically taking pictures movies of her till after 9 p.m., per her request to maintain going. “She has extra power than a young person.”  
For the brand new assortment’s supplies, Apfel selected colours from a “sweet retailer” of hand-polished acetate, Ticknor mentioned. New-to-Zenni colours embody a cerulean, impressed by Apfel’s love of denim. The kinds additionally characteristic inlaid steel engraving and “widened temples to make Iris pleased.” New spherical and cat-eye shapes are included, as are modified variations of frames Apfel favored from the May edit. “She was within the weeds with us on the whole lot, together with the emblem and the branding,” Ticknor mentioned. “She’s a designer at coronary heart.” 
“This assortment is for anybody who strives to stand out from the group — breaking by way of the sameness is tough proper now,” Apfel mentioned. “You’ll see my love for structure, and bold colorways, patterns and décor come by way of. These issues won’t ever cease inspiring me.”
The glasses, which can be found in prescription and blue-light-blocking lenses, are Zenni’s most costly to date, at $45.95-$49.95. Still, in accordance to Ticknor, the value permits “fashionistas to purchase a pair for all of their moods, seasons and days of the week.” 
To market the gathering, Zenni is counting on an array of fashion and way of life micro-influencers who had been gifted glasses. Influencers specializing in areas together with DIY fashion and pictures can be enlisted for future collections. Zenni will even lean on internet affiliate marketing, earned media — “as a result of folks love her,” Ticknor mentioned — and Apfel’s 1.6 million Instagram followers. 
Outside of digital, a yet-to-be-announced birthday activation is within the works, and Zenni plans to replicate a few of its advertising and marketing efforts used for Apfel’s May edit. They included promoting on the again cowl of airline magazines and on a billboard on the entrance of New York’s JFK Airport. The firm additionally sponsored a Times Square billboard all through the summer season that includes all of its collaborators. 
The Iris x Zenni collaboration comes as extra fashion manufacturers are prioritizing inclusivity of their merchandise and advertising and marketing to serve and converse to buyers of all ages. More are working with influencers ages 50-plus, and types like Michael Kors are that includes older fashions together with Naomi Campell, 51, on their runways. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Gap Inc. celebrated the ninetieth birthday of its co-founder, Doris Fisher, by asserting a devoted day of service and posting pleased birthday messages throughout its model’s social channels.
“Overall, it’s great to see the business making strides in the direction of inclusivity, however I do assume the business may do extra and push the envelope, particularly when it comes to age,” mentioned Apfel. “I’m embracing getting older and utilizing my unimaginable life experiences in my work I at all times say that being enthusiastic about my initiatives and placing my coronary heart and soul into them has saved me younger.” 
According to Zenni, its 2020 gross sales had been up 29%, in contrast to 2019. to $329 million. Its seen upward of 20% development in every of its seven years in enterprise.

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