First St. Louis woos Iris Apfel, next the entire fashion industry

Iris Apfel at the St. Louis Fashion Fund Gala. Photo by Suzy Gorman.

When Iris Apfel came to town, people started thinking we had established some serious fashion klout. The night before the 94-year-old was walking the red carpet and handing out the Legacy Award at the industry’s ACE awards gala, essentially the Academy Awards of fashion accessories. The next night I was chatting with Iris in the living room of a St. Louis home. She was in town to be honored at the St. Louis Fashion Fund Gala during St. Louis Fashion Week. And she also received a proclamation of “Iris Apfel Day!” from St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.

Watch the video of my my chat with the style icon here in an episode of my weekly #STLStreetStyle series: Iris Apfel continues world domination in St. Louis.

She was, as she is, witty and charming and terribly gracious even after a long day and a horribly delayed flight. The next day, the mayor gave her an award. The story below, however, isn’t much about Apfel. She wasn’t the only notable New Yorker in town, Fern Mallis, the creator of New York Fashion Week was here; so was Gary Wassner, a high-powered fashion business financier and CFDA business adviser. Tomoko Ogura, the senior fashion director of Barney’s New York was also in town. A pretty impressive crew for a presumed sleepy town in the Midwest, so I answered the question about why they bothered to show up and believe me, it wasn’t because this is such a hip vacation spot.

Finale runway walk of Azede Jean-Pierre’s collection vying for the $25,000 emerging designer prize. The prize was won by Katharine Polk of Houghton. Photo by Suzy Gorman

These players barely had a few hours to themselves and were shuttled to and fro meeting and greeting and learning about the local fashion scene.

The St. Louis Fashion Fund has a plan to rival New York’s garment industry and it doesn’t lack for ambition. It also requires a healthy dose of buzz from a few well-placed New Yorkers. Read the full story here and take a look at photos of the events.

Photos courtesy of Suzy Gorman for the St. Louis Fashion Fund.



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