Carl Apfel, textile company pioneer and husband to style and design icon Iris Apfel, passed away earlier this month, reported the New York Times. The Apfels met in 1947 and married the next year before founding Old World Weavers, a company that sourced and produced textiles globally. With the pair at the helm, the company provided fabric for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the White House and the State Department, as well as countless notables, celebrities and style icons. “Carl and I, from the time we married, we did everything together,” Iris told the newspaper. “We worked together, we traveled together, we lived together — until just recently, I never went anywhere without him.”
Iris and Carl Apfel; courtesy Patrick McMullan
Old World Weavers was acquired by Stark Carpet in 1992, but the couple continued to work with the company. The Apfels introduced Stark to European textile mills, which in turn inspired a transition from carpets to fabrics. Last year, EAL covered Carl’s 100th birthday, which was held at Stark Carpet. "We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend, Carl Apfel," said Ashley Stark, senior vice president of design at Stark. "As co-founder, with his wife Iris, of Old World Weavers, he truly was an icon in the luxury home furnishings fabric industry."
"We extend our most heartfelt condolences to Iris, with whom we celebrated Carl's 100th birthday at our New York showroom just one year ago," continued Stark. "Building on their groundbreaking contributions to the world of design, Stark was able to make the transition from carpet to fabrics almost seamlessly. We were given the honor of acquiring Old World Weavers in 1992 when the Apfels' retired, and we have stayed close to them ever since. We are grateful to Carl for all he taught us and are thankful we had the privilege of knowing him personally and professionally over many years. We consider the Apfels family and send much love to Iris during this difficult time."