Iris Apfel X NUDE - an Interview

Were you involved in the ideas or designs behind the Iris collection, both new and personalized items inspired by you? If so, how?

I am working on the doll with the designer [Harry Allen] directly. For the others, they sent me sketches and I made corrections.

Were the dolls your idea?

Their idea.

For the other Iris pieces, what kinds of things do you suggest for the sketches?

I had suggestions about color, that kind of thing. I put my personal touch on it.

What role does you feel fashion plays in interiors and design?

First you have to define fashion.

Fabric, color, use in design objects (like Versace, Armani make furniture and design objects). Another way to put it: Does design follow fashion trends?

Yes. Everything follows everything. Because everything grows out of the same experience.

How has your awareness and love of fashion affected your sense of design, i.e. your interiors and fabrics?

Everything affects everything else. Nothing exists in a vacuum. One thing suggests another.

Do you love design more than fashion?

No, they are all the same. It’s just another expression. It’s all the same root, the same aesthetic.

How does Nude use fashion in design? Are they taking in different fashion materials, trends, colors?

"Simplicity is a state of mind. And I think Simple is Beautiful."

You’re a woman who truly created her own unique fashion and interiors style. What advice would you give to a young woman (or man) who is trying to achieve the same thing?

I think she has to learn who she is, what her aesthetic is, how she feels about things. Not jump from trend to trend and copy what is around. And be true to herself. Most people today just follow each other, like copy cats. They don’t have any core beliefs.

Have you noticed over the years things have sped up, and people keep wanting the new, the different. If you create your own style, and you know what is true to you, sometimes you won’t be as embraced by a public or market that just wants constant novelty.

Well, it depends what you’re looking for. If you are looking for instant [fame]…I think if you are a really good designer or artist, you are true to what you think and know it is going to take people time. Most people don’t go for things right away. It takes time. [Especially] if they don’t know and they are worried, and they have to be sure that their friends are going to like them and be publicly accepted.

You are a global design brand who has not compromised her authenticity. Nude would like to be a global design brand. What advice would you give the brand about achieving that level of worldwide fame but remain true to yourself?
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Let them figure it out for themselves! I can’t tell them what to do

You are known as more is more, while Nude is known as less is more. Tell me about your personal style and why you enjoy it.

With Nude, less is more makes sense because it is an object. I like simple objects, but I like to use a lot of them.

Tell me a bit about how you came to work with Nude.

They called me up—well they called my lawyer up – and he recounted it to me. It sounded interesting. I have never done glassware before and I liked their product.

What about the Nude brand appeals to you?

I liked the quality and the design. They do many different kinds of design, and the pieces have a contemporary and clean feeling.

"I liked the quality and the design."

How does Nude’s refined style fit into your world?

I like anything beautiful. And it mixes with everything. That’s what I like.

What is the link between your philosophy and Nude brand’s philosophy, that simple is beautiful?

“In case you haven’t noticed, 
I’m hardly a minimalist. 
Just because I like to layer just a couple of chains,
This is my simplicity.
Simplicity is a state of mind.
And I think simple is beautiful.”

What are three of your favorite Nude pieces. Why?

The doll we’re making – and the rest I’ll have to point out to you. There is a vase with the eyeglasses that I like, and the colorful candle holders. However, I like them all as I have worked on them together with the Nude creative team.

What were your impressions of the Nude photo shoot and how did it feel? (Was it different than a fashion shoot, b/c it was an object instead of fashion?)

It was the same principle. It was the same aesthetic. No different.

Even from a business perspective?

Everybody is looking for someone to tell them what to do. Use your own ingenuity and do your own thing. What works for me may not work for you.

I’d love to know about a few of your own personal inspirations, be they people, places, or things.

Those kinds of questions make me crazy. I don’t know what inspires me. All of a sudden, I get an idea. Everything inspires me. You inspire me. This place inspires me. And all of a sudden, everything comes together. I don’t figure out what inspires me, I just do it. I don’t know why.

You worked at the restoration of interiors at the White House for nine presidents. Tell me about that, including why the project appealed to you, as it’s so different than your own style.

What we did, in the White House…it doesn’t matter what you think, what your tastes are, what the president thinks, it has to be as close as humanly possible to the way it was. It can be the ugliest thing in the world, but it has to be the same. So, it doesn’t matter what your sensibility is: You just have to follow the truth. People aren’t doing that much anymore. It’s really bad.

What you just described – that strikes me as what. True crafts person does. You put your ego aside and say, “This is the truth.”

Exactly. It’s like if you are on the Supreme Court, you don’t change the laws to suit you.

You have an incredible visual eye. How would you style a table using Nude stemware and serving items for an everyday at-home dinner?

I can’t do that with words. I have to do that with objects.

And how would you style it if you were advising a restaurant how to use Nude collections to make a big impression?

You have to see it and do it; I can’t describe it.

Is there anything else that you’d like to add about Nude, your style, or the collaboration?

I’m very happy with the collaboration. The people are very nice to work with and they make beautiful products. And I think the company is very careful of protecting its legacy and keeping everything top-drawer. It doesn’t cut corners. I don’t know everything they make, and I don’t love everything that they make. But there are some beautiful things that are absolutely divine.

#IrisApfelNude     #SimpleIsBeautiful