Zelda Kaplan, a fashion icon, socialite and philanthropist, died on Wednesday, after fainting in the front row of the Joanna Mastroianni runway show at New York Fashion Week just as the models began walking. The 95 year old had posed for photographers before fainting. She was rushed to a hospital, where she died, according to several news reports.
The New York Post reported that witnesses saw Kaplan slump forward in her seat after the models started walking down the runway. Kaplan was carried out of the show by security and was given CPR before an ambulance took her to the hospital.
Zelda Kaplan passed away suddenly today at the age of 95 from natural causes, she was surrounded by friends and family, a friend told the Post. She will be deeply missed and always loved.
Kaplan was known for her bold style that included African prints, hats and oversized sunglasses. She possessed a bounty of energy and was young at heart.
The New York Daily News reported that Kaplan was a former ballroom dance instructor. The philanthropist also often traveled to Africa and established a foundation from her inheritance from her husband to raise awareness about female genital mutilation in Africa, the Daily News reported.
Fashionista reported that Kaplan was referred to as a club kid and an It girl well into her golden years.
She rarely missed a night out at whatever exclusive spot was popular at the moment, Lucky's Ray Siegel wrote. And she wasn't leaving by 10 PM, either-it wasn't uncommon to see her out and about with the rest of us crazy kids at 3 AM. You've definitely seen her around, NEVER without her oversized owl shaped glasses and a tall African hat-her collection of those was surely unrivaled.
When the news of her death hit the Internet, Twitter users reacted with sadness. Here's what some of the tweets read:
-- RIP Zelda Kaplan. A true NY Nightlife inspiration to me. Dying front row at a fashion show? You leave as you lived: Legendary.
-- So Sad hearing The News About ZELDA KAPLAN...
-- So sad to hear about the passing of the inspiring Zelda Kaplan. We hope we're just like her when we're 95.
-- RIP Zelda Kaplan!! A true fashionista!
-- RIP Zelda Kaplan! What a loss...
Laura is a U.S. politics reporter for the International Business Times. She was always fascinated by the BBC World News each morning on the radio in Jamaica. That, and a love...