Beginning in mid-September, a three-story Iris-inspired window installation at 179 Essex Street in Salem will be unveiled featuring imagery from the Iris X Zenni Zentennial eyewear collection photographed by celebrated photographer and Apfel collaborator Ruvén Afanador. As part of a multi-year partnership, Zenni Eyewear has collaborated with Iris to create a signature “Zentennial” collection of eyewear that in true Iris fashion, are in bright hues and bold patterns with head-turning cat eyes, round and square shapes. Passersby can “window shop,” taking in an Iris themed display, featuring lush fabrics from Zimman’s in Lynn, and honoring PEM’s favorite centenarian.”
The Gallery Experience
PEM is honored to care for and present Iris Apfel’s Rare Bird of Fashion collection. In the museum’s Fashion and Design gallery, visitors can experience 18 full ensembles from the Apfels, 15 from Iris, and 3 from her late husband, Carl. These ensembles rotate on a regular basis to protect the garments from excessive light exposure and ensure that the installation stays lively and fresh. The Carl & Iris Barrel Apfel Gallery at PEM is given in loving memory of Iris’ parents Sam and Syd Barrel.
ABOUT IRIS APFEL
Born on August 29, 1921, Iris Apfel has been the subject of several museum exhibitions, a coffee-table book, a documentary, a campaign for MAC Cosmetics and even had two Barbie™ dolls created in her likeness. Iris and Carl Apfel founded the company Old World Weavers to meet their needs and those of other designers looking for exceptional fabrics that mimicked the look and feel of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Iris began to accentuate her personal wardrobe with things found during their global travels. The company went on to become one of the most successful fabric manufacturers in the United States. The couple worked with a number of elite clients, such as Estée Lauder and Greta Garbo but their biggest most consistent job has to have been re-designing the interiors of the United States White House for nine sitting presidents. In 2009/2010, PEM was the final venue for the traveling exhibition, Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel. Iris Apfel loved PEM’s installation of her collection so much that at the exhibition’s close, she bequeathed her entire Rare Bird of Fashion collection to the museum (90 complete ensembles), thus igniting PEM’s fashion initiative. Since then, the museum has benefited greatly from Apfel’s generosity as she continues to donate her clothing to the museum on an annual basis. In 2018 Apfel enabled PEM to acquire pieces from her late husband Carl’s wardrobe, which was both an honor and a privilege for the museum.
ABOUT MR. TOMMY HILFIGER
Since launching his namesake brand in 1985, Tommy Hilfiger has become globally renowned as the pioneer of classic American cool style. Inspired by iconic pop culture and Americana heritage, the designer and his brand are driven by an ever-optimistic vision to break conventions and celebrate individuality. Today, under Hilfiger’s guidance, vision and leadership as Principal Designer, TOMMY HILFIGER is one of the world’s most recognizable lifestyle brands that shares its inclusive and youthful spirit with consumers worldwide. Full bio
Zenni pioneered the online eyewear industry in 2003 with a mission to make prescription eyewear affordable and accessible to everyone. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Zenni offers men, women, and children the freedom to express their personal style through high-quality prescription and protective eyewear curated with a sense for fashion and incredible selection. With complete prescription pairs starting at just $6.95, and averaging just over $40, the company has brought massive price disruption to the traditional retail model. With over 40 million frames sold worldwide, a pair of Zennis is owned in every country across the globe. Zenni is proud to be the exclusive eyewear partner of Iris Apfel, as well as the Official Eyewear of the San Francisco 49ers, Boston Red Sox, Call of Duty League and the Chicago Bulls. Zenni has also previously partnered with actor and producer Rashida Jones, fashion designer Cynthia Rowley, and eyewear designers Coco & Breezy on exclusive campaigns. For more information, please visit Zenni.com/Press.
PHOTO CREDIT: Iris X Zenni Zentennial collection, Photo by Ruven Afanador
ABOUT THE PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM
Over the last 20 years, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) has distinguished itself as one of the fastest-growing art museums in North America. Founded in 1799, it is also the country’s oldest continuously operating museum. At its heart is a mission to enrich and transform people's lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes, and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming, and special events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present, and underscore the vital importance of creative expression. The museum's collection is among the finest of its kind boasting superlative works from around the globe and across time -- including American art and architecture, Asian export art, photography, maritime art and history, Native American, Oceanic, and African art, as well as one of the nation’s most important museum-based collections of rare books and manuscripts. PEM's campus offers a varied and unique visitor experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities, and performance spaces. Twenty-two noted historic structures grace PEM’s campus, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States. HOURS: Open Thursdays through Sundays and holiday Mondays, 10 am–5 pm with late Fridays until 8 pm. ADMISSION: Adults $20; seniors $18; students $12. Members, youth 16 and under, and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission. INFO: Call 866-745-1876 or visit pem.org.
Whitney Van Dyke | Director of Communications | email@example.com | 978-542-1828