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For the last six years, upper-division students in Textiles and Apparel have crisscrossed Manhattan for the ultimate class on the fashion industry. Guided by fashion icon Iris Apfel, students enter the boardrooms, workrooms, showrooms and curatorial spaces to learn from fashion leaders and, ultimately, discover their potential. 

Let’s follow a conversation between seniors Lindsay Smith and Annabelle Line (New York City, Spring 2016).

Annabelle: Describe Iris Apfel in three words!

Lindsay: Over the top (in the best way)!

A: Today we watched Professor Apfel work on her new line at Nation Design. What was it like?

L: It was incredible to watch her work. When you watch the process firsthand, you see how a clothing line is actually developed. Professor Apfel is one of a kind. 

A: Do you have one word to describe Nation Design?

L: Intricate.        

A: What was the most challenging part of the day for you?

L: Mapping our way through New York.

A: What was the most surprising part?

L: How extremely humble and kind Tommy Hilfiger was.

A: What was most memorable?

L: Stanley Pologeorgis letting me try on a $210,000 fur coat. It was the softest and most beautiful thing that I have ever touched.

This year’s UTinNYC students had a special treat: seeing visiting professor Iris Apfel crowned fashion maverick at the 38th American Image Awards. The award left her amused. “I just do what I feel like doing,” Apfel told the crowd. “I never thought I’d be a geriatric starlet.”