Iris Apfel Talks About Her New MAC Makeup Collection, Makes Us Want Pink Pigeons And Party Parrots


Iris Apfel wearing makeup from her MAC cosmetics collection.
Photo: Courtesy of MAC

Iris Apfel is one of fashion's most beloved icons. You could call her the grand dame of accessories, a rare bird of fashion (a term commonly used to describe her), an iconoclast, or simply the most stylish 90 year-old woman on the planet. We here at MTV Style call her our style hero, because even in her elder years, she continues to reinvent herself and embrace the new. She isn't afraid of color, bucks trends in favor of what she thinks is stylish, and is always up for layering multiple accessories no matter the shape or size.

Mrs. Apfel's everyday ensembles have been captured on blogs such as Ari Seth Cohen's site, Advanced Style (which, if haven't checked it out yet, is a MUST), and she recently collaborated on an accessories collection for HSN full of googly eye scarves and giant alligator bracelets. Did we mention that she also has a camera crew led by renowned cinematographer Albert Maysles following her around for a new documentary? She doesn't slow down! And now, thanks to MAC cosmetics, her sensational sense of color and style will be coming to beauty, too. We just peeped the new collection (which is full of vibrant colors with names like Pink Pigeon and Party Parrot), and asked Iris herself how it all flew into being.

"I like MAC products, and I like to try new things," Apfel said, speaking from her Manhattan apartment. "I love color, and since I've worked with color in so many other mediums, I thought it would be fun to do it for the face." Launching on January 5, the Iris Apfel for MAC collection will feature a range of lipstick, shadow, pencils, and nail lacquers in bright pink, teal green, coral, and beige (we like the Scarlet Ibis lipstick, Silver Gull eyeshadow, and Oriele Orange nail polish). Most everything is named after birds because, as Apfel said, "I love all birds." She even came up with a color that mimicked her oversized specs. "There was one I loved that they didn't use—wise-eyed owl. It was a kind of grayish eyeshadow." (Dear MAC, please bring this color back!) All of the products are thick and smooth on with vibrancy, and you can layer the colors, too.

Apfel is wearing her collection above, and we love the pairing of the green eye with the bright red lips. She collaborated with photographer Steven Klein to bring it all together for the promotional image, too. "I styled myself. It's all my own jewelry, and the coat is Ralph Rucci, whose stuff I adore, so I was very happy. Everything in the shot is mine." Have you noticed this trend of multiple bracelets stacked up arms? That's all Iris; she's the originator. Or perhaps you've seen girls in the street wearing a mixture of dramatic colors and mismatched prints? Apfel's been dressing this way for years. She's an inspiration to older and younger women alike and inspires everyone to be free with how they dress, to infuse color and a sense of fun into their wardrobes. So why not pair Flamingo lips with a black dress or try Toco Toucan nails with a bright sweater in a completely different color? Be a rare bird yourself!

iris apfel mac collection

The Iris Apfel for MAC collection.
Photo: Courtesy of MAC

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