Behind Every Fab Bag is a Bad-Ass Woman: Meet our MOXiE muse - Iris Apfel

It’s no secret that here at LOVE & MOXiE we strive for both our business and our handmade products to embody joy, a fierce sense of fabulousness and, well, moxie!

It goes without saying to personify all of these wonderful things, you’re more than likely going to need a little inspiration along the way. We proudly pull inspiration from an array of different areas— from designers, creative directors and our favorite runway pieces to cities, music, patterns, color . . . and last but certainly not least — badass women who embody the true definition of moxie.

Without a doubt, we could pump out a list of these women running longer than Grey’s Anatomy has been airing. However, for times sake, we’ve narrowed down our series to include our top five favorite ladies and all the subpurbness they encapsulate. Through their work, books, programs, products, life advice, and everything in between, they constantly carry themselves with overwhelming confidence, a sense of humor and the ability to constantly overcome adversity.

With the perfect cocktail of creativity, admiration, and just enough caffeine, we’ve developed five one-of-a-kind handbags for each of our MOXiE muses not only in celebration of these five lovely ladies, but our 7th birthday as a small business! As my mother Renée is none other than the original MOXiE muse herself, we were thrilled to incorporate her spunky little self throughout this campaign as she embodies each of our muses.

All in all, we’re over the moon grateful for their outspoken charisma that sparks inspiration in us on the daily, and we hope these bags do the same for you (and maybe them), too!


To kick off our MOXiE muse series by stating Iris Apfel is merely a style icon would be an understatement — as she is undoubtedly our “First Lady of Fabric.”

Becoming an international style icon in her 90’s, Iris has continued to work with brands at the age of 102, all while serving looks we can only dream of pulling off. In a nutshell, if being honored by the Met’s Costume Institute, working under nine U.S. presidents, cofounding an international textile manufacturing company (Old World Weavers), AND having one of the most phenomenally eccentric wardrobes of all time does not scream moxie, then we don’t know what does.

So many of Iris' quotes, stories, and outfits inspire us immensely that making a bag for her came without question.

“I just feel things in my gut and i do them. If something sounds exciting and interesting, I do it - and then worry about it later.”

With a marvelous outfit in mind, Iris found herself on a mission for a pair of jeans. While you may associate the largest obstacles in this endeavor to be updating your shipping information or choosing between washes, this was far from the case in the 1940’s. Walking into a store near her college campus, the shopkeeper immediately denied her attempt to purchase, adamantly responding, “young ladies don’t wear jeans.”

Riddled with determination, Iris returned time and time again until the shopkeeper finally agreed to order her a pair.

We’re certain that such a strong-willed woman with an extraordinary, trend-setting sense of style has been told “no” more times than we can count and gone against the grit for the better, even if it meant she wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea.

"When you don't dress like everyone else, you don't have to think like everyone else."

Without a doubt, we knew this called for constructing our Iris tote out of denim . . . paired with the oh-so-slightly edited quote from the stubborn shopkeeper on the gusset.

As Iris prides herself in being a self-proclaimed “fabric freak,” she is undeniably as obsessed with color, texture, and pattern as we are. Even better, we share a love of flea markets and thrifting.

“I like the thrill of the hunt. There’s just a certain excitement that grabs me, a feeling of energy and mystery because I never know what I’m going to find - that’s what I find so exhilarating.”

Designing the body of this bag as a tote felt like a no brainer — as fellow thrifters we know a stylish bag with loads of room for all your finds is a necessity. This further inspired us to detail the Iris tote with an eclectic gaggle of polka dots, made from none other than varied fabrics from upcycled goods. Paying homage to her wildly impressive collection of fun, chunky jewelry, we decided on an acrylic chain for the bag handles.

Last — but certainly not least — the lining! This is probably one of our favorite details of the bag. For as long as we can remember, we’ve been obsessed with the fact Iris was married in none other than a pink wedding dress. This called for a bright pink, vegan-leather lining, complete with a pocket dawning her iconic glasses.

Through this tote, we hoped to encapsulate Iris’ sense of wonder, curiosity and determination to break the glass ceiling over and over again—leaving us with a fresh sense of inspiration, new and refined techniques, and a fabulous new bag.

Since Iris was a bit busy to model this tote for us herself in light of just celebrating her 102nd birthday, we called in the original MOXiE muse herself!

Although we hate to sound like a broken record, we truly cannot express our gratitude enough to each and every one of you as we celebrate our seventh year in business here at LOVE & MOXiE. When my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, we started this business in hopes to both raise awareness and truly live life to the fullest as we began to navigate this together.

While being a small business in this day and age isn’t easy — especially while tackling the occasional medical hurdle or whatever Mercury in retrograde throws our way — we’re still kickin’ thanks to your support! We’re so thankful for this journey and all it's taught us — that you can truly accomplish anything you set your mind to, pivoting and starting over at any age is no set back, and with the right concoction of grace, style, humor, and a dash of moxie, you can get through anything. We equally appreciate that each of our muses have solidified these lessons along the way and keep us inspired.

Looking back, we’re thrilled to have been able to donate over $6,000 toward Alzheimer’s charities and grow personal relationships with our clients through custom pieces. There is truly no better feeling than being able to give somebody’s sentimental piece a second life. All the more, we’re excited for all the fab things to come and hope you’ll stick along for the ride, we couldn’t do it without YOU!

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Cheers! Danielle & Renée

“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”
… life is short, live with moxie!