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by Halley Sanford April 03, 2022 3 min read 1 Comment

Be vivid. Be vibrant. Be unapologetically vivacious.

Among our multitude of influences and inspirations for this collection is the legendary Iris Apfel, an American entrepreneur, interior designer, and “accidental icon” with unmistakable style, a part of which is an affinity for the extraordinary designs of Double D Ranch, which you’ll find in both her closet and her home.

Everything about Iris is exaggerated. Oversized coke-bottle glasses. Enormous costume jewelry – and too much of it. Color combinations that every sidebar style guide in fashion mags would strongly advise against. Gravity-defying garment volume. It should be strident, but it’s stunning. Her irreverence is intoxicating.

“Oh, she was more than just an idol!” Cheryl laughed. “We basically channeled her for an entire collection. It was called Free Bird. Oh man, we really thought we were avant garde, really pushing the envelope – we had the girls with colors in their hair, they were in neon wings – we thought we were so edgy back then. We were really embodying that irreverence Iris exudes.”

Free Bird was a colorful Spring collection that launched in 2012.

“Crazy to think that was 10 years ago,” Cheryl said. “Fashion is cyclical that way. The funny thing about Free Bird Is that, if I recall, it didn’t really perform that well, sales-wise, at the time, but then it became super sought-after and collectible. Such a funny thing about fashion. I don’t know, maybe the world just wasn’t quite ready for it at the time. They sure love it now, though!”

And that’s not our only link to the self-proclaimed “accidental icon”.

“I would have to say one of the most surreal moments of my career – of my life, probably – was learning that the admiration was mutual between Iris Apfel and DDR. She has pieces in her wardrobe, and several pieces in her home. I think she has at least a dozen pillows, some of which we still make – or make again, rather – and I distinctly remember that she had one of the little velvet elephants we made in the darling dresses. Iris has an affinity for the unique, the exceptional, and it’s an honor to be among her collections.”

But the real crowning achievement?

“Iris included us in her exhibit at the Met[ropolitan Museum of Art],” Cheryl recalled. “Can you imagine what a moment that was for me as a designer and us as a company? I think we all sat in stunned silence when it really sunk in. Double D Ranch was on display, at the Met, by way of Iris Apfel. Unbelievable.”

Iris included the Ojibwa Pillow with one of the mannequins she accessorized, which in turn, ended up in the pages of Eric Bowman’s book, Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel.

Iris is the embodiment of the ideal that the only rule in fashion is it must make you feel good. If you like it, get it – and wear it all together. Your outfit is an expression, and we’re daring you to set your spirit free.

Love the look of Iris’ accent pillows? You can achieve a similar aesthetic with an assortment of Corndance, Water Carrier, and Goats Island Pillows for that peak combination of texture and embellishments.


1 Response

Rosemary Soares
Rosemary Soares

April 04, 2022

I’ve been a fan of Iris for years. I have purchased her jewelry and coats. All fabulous. And I always get compliments when wearing anything Rare Bird of Paradise(the book is great). You can not be a meek mouse if you like Iris. She will give you a fun adventure in fashion.

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