Personal Branding Examples

The Secrets Behind Iris Apfel’s Timeless Style

Personal Branding Examples Iris Apfel
Personal Branding Examples Iris Apfel

Iris is a well-known Personal Branding example.

Personal Branding – Iris Apfel, the fashion icon, is approaching 100 years old! Here are some of her amazing life and style tips. A documentary about the self-described “geriatric starlet” was released in 2014.

Iris Apfel, a fashion icon and interior decorator, turned 99 years old last year, in 2020. Many consider Apfel, who has an instantly identifiable, diverse, and bold style, to be one of the first people to exude and celebrate what we now call personal style.

Personal Branding Examples Iris Apfel

Table of Contents - Personal Branding Examples Iris Apfel

The Secrets Behind Iris Apfel’s Timeless Style

Now, the one-of-a-kind businesswoman and woman of style, famous for her hats and interior design, talks about her life and her style with The New York Times.

Her candid yet witty comments have given us yet another insight into her mind and how she maintains her style and relevance.

It is a long fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. 

Iris Apfel Younger Photograph

Personal Branding Example - Iris Apfel

According to CNBC, Apfel was born on August 29, 1921, in New York City and spent time at her grandparents’ home in Brooklyn. After seeing large quantities of fabric scraps that her grandmother’s daughters had on hand to knit things for charity, her passion for textiles was sparked. She was occasionally allowed to take home leftovers, which she enjoyed playing with.

“I spent whole evenings entertaining myself this way, obsessed with texture, colour, and pattern,” Apfel wrote in her 2018 book, “Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon.”

She reflected, “Looking back, it’s obvious that playing this way honed my eye and gave me a very deep interest in cloth.”

The Power of Personal Branding

One of the secrets to Apfel’s brand that many wish they could share is that Iris leaves it all out on the table out there for everyone to see. Her clothing, style, and personal life are her clothes and style, and her life and personal style. Over the years, Apfel has become a household name, a household word, and the quintessential “it girl”. 

At 97 years old, she is still rocking the way we see her on the cover of her books, on her calendars, and in her popular photo calendars, calendars, and postcards. 

Last year, to commemorate her 99th birthday, Apfel received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, making one of the oldest people ever to receive the award. She also became a better-known public figure, not just in the fashion and design industries but across the world. And the world adores her.

Iris and Husband

The Roots of Iris Apfel’s Style

She has the second-oldest profession (we know of) in the United States. The oldest was Judy Garland, born November 4, 1913. Apfel has been an artist all of her life.

When she was very young, her grandmother took her to parties in New York City, where she discovered the glitz and glamour of society. She got a job at Neiman Marcus and met legendary designer Norman Norell. After helping Norell develop his collection, Apfel began designing pieces of her own.

Personal Branding Example - Iris Apfel

From there, it was a natural transition to interior design and eventually fashion. Iris became known as the trendsetter. Working with fashion over the years and with fashion and style mavens like Oscar de la Renta, Rei Kawakubo, Halston, and Joe Zee.

Iris brand is not all about selling. It is also important to keep in mind that personal branding isn’t about the sale. It’s all about making yourself accessible to others, such as clients and colleagues. Make sure your social media pages, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, are active. Maintain a healthy social media presence by posting both company and personal updates. Others will not only see you as a respected professional, but they will also get a glimpse into your personal life and what makes you tick.

What Iris Style Means

‘The style of someone is truly their concept of themselves, and they have to understand and value who they are,’ said Apfel. ‘I mean, if I’m 90 years old, I should not dress like a 16-year-old. I mean, I don’t. 

She further stated that she had no fear of ageing or having a style that does not match her age. As it turns out, Apfel’s style does perfectly match her personality and persona. 

Iris Apfel is a trailblazer. She started her own company at age 50, and it continued to thrive for 70 years. Her love for fashion, design, art, and jewellery started at a young age. As a fashion designer, Apfel is recognised for having a bold, eccentric and edgy style. She decided to pursue her dream and never let anything get in her way.


The Importance of Personal Branding + Style

According to the blog Poptastic, “Personal style – and more importantly, personal presentation or her branding – is perhaps one of the most important keys to social relevance in the digital age. The whole point of Instagram is capturing all the most Instagrammable moments in your life – your outfits are the best evidence.

As a result, people really listen to what you have to say about fashion, travel, food, wellness, and design.” Iris Apfel is so influential and successful that she has made the cover of the Wall Street Journal twice, in 1993 and 2000.

Personal Branding Examples Iris Apfel

Personal Branding Example - Iris Apfel

Iris has received the AIA Medal of Honor from the American Institute of Architects and the National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Iris’s brand is equally successful in the offline and online worlds. Personal branding isn’t just for online use. When you leave the house and engage with others in the community, make sure you present yourself constructively and professionally consistent with your brand. Do keep your business cards with you and keep an eye out for potential clients. People want to help local businesses and practitioners, so if you make a strong first impression, they’ll be more likely to investigate your services—and either recruit you or refer you to someone who would.

Advice for an Effective Personal Brand

What do you really stand for? What is your message? What does this brand of yours mean? As someone who is well into her golden years, she would likely say that, to her, personal style isn’t about following the crowd; instead, it’s about understanding what you like and what works for you, whatever that may be. 

To Apfel, this process takes time and thought. She believes there are several effective ways to create a personal brand. To be successful, she said: Create a symbol. 

A symbol is an answer to the question, “What’s my brand?” Many people’s logos are simple to mark or emblem that symbolises their company or brand. Become well known. Having a good brand doesn’t guarantee success, but many successful people did have one.

Personal Branding Examples Iris Apfel

The importance of staying current

Why Should You Really Be Up-to-Date on Industry Trends?

  • Obtain appreciation by working hard.

Your colleagues will soon identify you as an expert as your expertise grows. They’ll come to you for your knowledge and wisdom, and word about you as a capable business leader will spread. Employers, recruiters, and vendors will be lining up to hire you soon, and consumers will be bidding for your services!

Personal Branding Example - Iris Apfel

The Importance of Staying Current cont’d

  • New possibilities for development

Learning new procedures and technologies is an opportunity for professional development and new skills. You may try something new and discover that it improves your productivity or broadens your skillset. You could discover that one trend was a dud, but trying anything different is never a waste of time! Consider everything you learned as a result of pursuing that goal. Failures and mistakes can sometimes lead to development! You’re positioning yourself to take advantage of these opportunities before the rest of the industry!

Iris Apfel recently curated four home collections for Lowe’s, and I’m completely smitten.

Lowe’s first opened its doors to consumers in 1921, mainly hardware and construction materials inventory. Today, the store has extended its ranges to include other home categories, including decor and furniture. With Iris and Lowe’s team up in both their centenary years seems so fitting.

Apfel, who is known for her eclectic and bold style, collaborated with the retailer to create four distinct collections that will brighten up any room. According to a press release, she is the first tastemaker to participate in Lowe’s House of Curators, a new series of decor curations from Lowe’s that taps various design legends “to reveal covetable style at an uncompromising value.”


Personal Branding Examples

Iris Apfel Curated Home Collection with Lowes's

Iris Apfel + Lowes
Iris Apfel + Lowes

Apfel’s carefully selected collections combine texture, colour, and pattern in paint, textiles, and furnishings to produce bold looks for both indoor and outdoor spaces at reasonable prices. “I’ve always known that letting yourself shine is one of the most important aspects of home design,” Apfel said in a statement. “Experimenting with unapologetic colours, eye-catching designs, and being completely original” is how I define it.

The curated collections are Palm Beach in Your Backyard, Statement-Making Style, Modern Maximalism, and the Centennial Color Palette. They are made up of pre-existing items that have been refashioned in a new way. The latter collection includes selecting iconic paint colours from each decade (think vivid blues and reds from the 1920s to comfortable earth tones from the 1970s).

Iris Apfel 100 Years 2021

Personal Branding Example - Iris Apfel

The Best Quotes From Iris Apfel: The Style Icon And Queen of Color

So, without further ado, here are Iris’s inspiring quotes to get you pumped about your own brand.

1. “I’m not cute, and I’ll never be pretty, but that’s irrelevant.” I’ve got something even better for you. “I have a sense of style.”

Ms Apfel demonstrated in the 2015 documentary Iris that looking beautiful isn’t the ultimate goal; rather, looking like you have character should be.

2. “Life is grey and drab; you may as well have some fun in your clothes.”

Apfel showed us that you can either settle into a simple uniform that looks like everyone else’s, or you can live out loud and have a little fun while you’re here, as she wisely said in her documentary Iris.

3. “Experience is the only thing that can really replace it.” It helps if you have experience and are open to new experiences. That is extremely beneficial. Above all, you must be yourself, to be who you are, and to take the time to be transparent and truthful with yourself. That is what it all boils down to. You’ll never have great style if you don’t know yourself. You’ll never be able to really live. The biggest fashion faux pas, in my opinion, is not seeing yourself in the mirror.”

In a 2015 interview with Let’s Do More, Apfel explained that while sharing parts of yourself with others can be insecure, it’s preferable to reveal rather than conceal your eccentricities. Imagine if Apfel had passed up the first-ever statement necklace she was about to purchase. We’d have no idea how incredible she was on the inside.

4. “What I consider to be my style is not your style, and I’m not sure how you can describe it.” It’s something that, in its own unique way, reflects who you are.”

Apfel discussed her rare-bird style in an interview with One Kings Lane. Are you concerned that anyone would judge you based on your personal preferences? It doesn’t matter: you should teach yourself to conquer the feeling. You shouldn’t dilute yourself to make people feel more secure because your clothes express a part of you.

“I’m a hopeless romantic,” she says. I purchase items because I am enamoured with them. I never purchase anything simply because it is expensive. I used to tell my husband that I would take a piece of fabric and listen to the threads. It’s as if it’s telling me a story… When I buy something, I need a physical reaction. A bolt of lightning is referred to as a coup de foudre. It’s a lot of fun to be knocked out like that!”

Iris Apfel’s documentary Iris reminded us that clothing is more than just what we wear on our backs. The bits that make our hearts do somersaults are the strongest.

6. “You must examine yourself in the mirror.” If it feels right, I know it’s right for me. I don’t dress to be noticed; I dress to express myself.”

Iris Apfel taught us in an interview with One Kings Lane that while it’s good to own something trendy and get compliments, the most important aspect of your style should be that it makes you happy.

7. “If having a sense of style is going to stress you out, don’t do it.” The most important thing is to feel at ease so you can go about your business. But I believe that if that is how people approach to style, they are missing out on a lot. They’re missing out on the whole creative process.”

In a 2015 interview with Vogue, Apfel demonstrated that style isn’t something to be afraid of but rather something to experiment with and enjoy. Don’t get too caught up in fashion codes, and just try to live your life to the fullest.

8. “Everything around me inspires me.” It’s not like I’m out on the moors or something like that romantic nonsense. I’m simply motivated by being alive and breathing, meeting and engaging with friends, doing stuff, and taking in what’s going on around me. “I believe that if more people did that, fashion would improve.”

In a 2015 interview with Let’s Do More, Apfel discussed where she gets her bold, live-out-loud style inspiration. And she clearly responds that she gets her ideas from her experiences in life. She encourages us to go out and try new things, engage with others, and share our thoughts, feelings, and experiences. We can only develop a good sense of style that we are proud of and confident through learning and giving.

9. “I don’t follow any rules because I’d just violate them.”

Iris Apfel showed Iris that fashion laws don’t matter, even though they’re our own. Simply do what makes you happy!

“Finding out who you are is like putting yourself in a psychiatric ward, except there’s no one to rescue you.” It’s not comfortable at all. This morning, I talked with my nephew, and he told me one of the best quotes I’ve heard in a long time: “Personal style is curiosity about oneself.”

Apfel said in a 2012 lecture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art that the more you let yourself explore and play, the more you’ll learn about yourself.

11. “I enjoy digging, searching, and discovering.” And if I’m out shopping… If it’s a piece of cloth, I pay attention to the threads. It’s not even close to being intellectual. There is no fee. It’s the emotional material that I need to feel in my gut about. Other than that, I’m at a loss for words.”

Apfel clarified that clothing and shopping are emotional stuff in a 2015 interview with Vogue. Focus on how you respond to the piece in question rather than rules and fads.

Key Takeaways – Personal Branding Examples

Personal branding and style are one of the most personal expressions a person can have. It reveals your mood and thinking in a way that may not show up outside your body or clothing.

The importance of consistency cannot be overstated. Just look at Iris.

Staying true (i.e., consistent) to your brand is one of the most important aspects of effective personal branding. After a few encounters with your brand, customers will begin to recognise it. Clients will become frustrated if you change your image in the middle of a project, and they will eventually stop knowing (or trusting) you. Iris, across all the different channels (for example, a website and glossy magazines, and documentaries, her overall image and presentation has always been consistent.

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