I’ve been asked many times about my role models and always found it a difficult question to answer, as there’s never been just one person I felt who’d influenced me in business or life. But, when I came across Iris Apfel, things changed.
I know that everyone knows about her now and if you don’t, you need to watch the movie about her, called Iris, as you’ll never view the world in the same way again.
Why is she now a hero of mine? She’s my symbol of truly enjoying the journey and rejoicing whilst arriving at the destination. Everything she does, says, believes in – basically her ‘take on life’, is one that embodies this lust for what life can colourfully give us.
I love the beautiful way her now, late husband Carl, who died at the amazing age of 101 would refer to their relationship as “one trip, one beautiful trip”, or how she speaks about tech – “Technologically, I live in the 17th century; I don’t have a computer. I don’t look at the internet. Somebody told me they Googled me and said I was mentioned two million times, some stupid thing… but who cares?” I adore how she dresses to express how she feels and never to conform. Not even now, as a style icon, could she care less about what you thought.
Finally, I just love her honestly and lack of BS. Such as when she speaks about how much she values common sense, and how as she gets older, the realisation in how uncommon it is! She sees all these intellectuals, great degrees, know it alls, but so many of them don’t know how to simply operate in life, she calls it “ridiculous”!
We all know 40 is the new 30, but sometimes it’s hard to believe it. Iris is our proof. She helps us see that we should, and can squeeze every last drop out of this lemon of life. Not only that, we shouldn’t just travel along as wall flowers, that actually the world welcomes us most when we are the full, 100% vision of ourselves. When we are at our fullest, that’s when life gets fun.
She’s giving me courage, I’m sure she gives us all strength, to throw a little caution to the wind, opinions onto the fire and get on with finding the Iris inside of ourselves.