The fashion world is mourning the death of 95-year-old Zelda Kaplan, an adored socialite, fashion icon and humanitarian, who passed away after fainting in her front-row seat at New York Fashion Week.
Zelda Kaplan was sitting in the front of the Joanna Mastroianni show at Lincoln Center on Wednesday when, according to The New York Post, she slumped forward after the models had begun walking at 1 p.m. Kaplan was carried out of the show by security where EMTs were waiting to perform CPR. An ambulance took Kaplan to Roosevelt Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The beloved Zelda Kaplan died leaving behind a legacy of joy and goodwill. Kaplan's friend gave the following statement to The Post: Zelda Kaplan passed away suddenly today at the age of 95 from natural causes, she was surrounded by friends and family. She will be deeply missed and always loved.
Before the show started, she posed for photos for photographers and fans. She showed no visible signs of trouble. I was sitting right next to her, said fashion writer Ruth Finley. She flopped over in my lap. The show was just starting. I thought she fainted.
The New York-native was known for her distinctive fashion sense, wearing colorful, patterned attire to even the most low-key of events. Her style staples included African-printed garments, dramatic hats and oversize circular sunglasses. Many said that she died just as she lived -- in a dramatic, outrageous fashion; a thing of legend. RIP Zelda Kaplan. A true NY Nightlife inspiration to me. Dying front row at a fashion show? You leave as you lived: Legendary, tweeted one fan.
According to The Daily Mail, was a club kid and an it girl. She was known to party at popular NYC hotspots like Bungalow 8 well into the wee-hours of the morning. She kept up with other socialites nearly a quarter her age. Her social calendar was consistently booked.
In a 2010 interview with NY Mag, the zesty and dynamic icon said that her bedtime was anytime between midnight and 7 a.m. That same year, she told Stylelikeu, So many young people are so afraid of becoming old. I would like them to know that from someone who is ninety-four years young, it is fun to be old.
Ms. Kaplan's life was not only about designer duds and fabulous parties. She was a dedicated humanitarian, as well, who spent significant amounts of time in Africa and southeast Asia championing human rights causes like the prevention of female genital mutilation, according to The Daily Mail.
Zelda Kaplan is a true original and a cultural icon, particularly to seniors as persons who are vivacious unpredictable and great fun to be around, society photographer Patrick McMullen told The New York Daily News.
I will truly miss her. But look forward to seeing her again in the great night-club she will be hosting called after-life.