Iris Apfel Makes Appearance at Rib & Rhein in Newport

Guests got the chance to admire a display of her unconventionally beautiful personal jewelry collection paired with dresses on mannequins and all.
Iris Apfel

Thomas and Erin Ribeiro (left) with Iris Apfel at Rib and Rhein. Photos from Rib and Rhein’s Facebook page.

This past Saturday, Rib & Rhein in Newport hosted ninety-six-year-old fashion icon, Iris Apfel, author of Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon: Musings of a Geriatric Starlet. Rib & Rhein is a curated fashion and lifestyle boutique for men, women and home, located on William Street. As soon as you walk in, you feel as though you are truly a part of the fashion world (even if you are a tad underdressed.)

For the event, the store was decorated with Iris Apfel printed pillows and guests got the chance to admire a display of her personal jewelry collection paired with dresses on mannequins and all. Apfel’s unconventionally beautiful accessories can surely dress-up any ordinary outfit. On the Newport store’s upper level, there’s a display of jewelry that Iris, herself, chose to be showcased. She has been collecting jewelry and belts since she was just eleven years old.


A piece from Iris Apfel’s personal jewelry collection.

Just last year, Apfel brought her fun, quirky style to the Atelier Swarovski collection, the highest “level” of Swarovski’s brand. She even designed jewelry for the Academy Award-nominated film, The Greatest Showman. Guests arrived dressed-to-the-nines in Iris Apfel-inspired looks for the invite-only party to meet the legend, herself. Apfel rocked her signature big, round glasses styled with a bold, colorful printed pant-suit accessorized by long, layered necklaces and chunky bracelets while signing copies of her book and meeting guests face-to-face.

Here’s a q-and-a with Rib & Rhein founder and buyer Erin P. R. Ribeiro, about the shop’s aesthetic and her relationship with Apfel.

How would you describe Iris’s style, and what pieces from your shop do you think most reflect her style?

Her style is her own and it is traveled and developed. I think the piece in our store that most reflects her style is our Rib and Rhein Babes Bedazzled Robe.  It is a one-of-a-kind piece and it is hand-woven in Florez Island in Indonesia. The workmanship from theses weavers is incredible and adding crystals to the robe gives it that extra flare and sparkle.

Rib and Rhein.

How would you describe the style/aesthetic of your store’s clothing and accessories?

We are a lifestyle store and so you have a traveled feel. Pieces are classic with a little twist. Fashion is fun and you should be able to wear your clothing all over the world for all different occasions/environments.

Who is your target audience when selling your clothing?

We cater to men and women from ages thirty to sixty-five, who want to feel comfortable, confident and sophisticated in contemporary clothing. What defines the Rib and Rhein man and woman? In command, but never commanding, effortless and natural. Rib and Rhein was created to fulfill the needs of understated fashionable consumers with taste, who not only seek comfort, but also value style.

How did you get your start in the fashion industry?

After Thomas [Ribeiro] and I had spent many years working in all different facets, fashion included, in NYC, London and Europe, we wanted to take what we learned and create our own vision of what we saw as a lifestyle concept.

What has been the most rewarding part about working with Iris and in the fashion industry, as a whole?

There is always so much to learn and so much to try. I think working in fashion has made me a stronger person because it has shown me who I am and to be comfortable with my style/fashion.  I think Iris is the perfect example and role model for going out and doing what you believe in and not to make any apologies for that.

86 William St., Newport, 401-619-7575,

Iris apfel

Thomas Ribeiro with Iris Apfel.


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