16 February 2012
Zelda, Bodacious Fashion Maven and Women's Rights Campaigner, passes away at 95
A 95-year-old fashion maven and philanthropist "known for her African print dresses and oversize sunglasses" died during a Fashion Week show earlier this afternoon. According to the Daily News, Zelda Kaplan "fainted in the front row of the Joanna Mastroianni runway show as the models began walking, just moments after she had posed for photogs wearing a festive red skirt suit. She was carried out by security and rushed to the hospital where she died." Photographer Patrick McMullan said, "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. I will truly miss her. But look forward to seeing her again in the great night-club she will be hosting called after-life." And a statement from her friends said, "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." Two years ago, she told Daily Intel that her occupation was "'Citizen of the World.' I spent half my life relaxing and the other half crusading — I was a successful ballroom dancer and women's golf pro in Miami Beach in my 20s, a doctor's wife in New York in my 30s — and in my 60s and 70s I spent my time largely in Africa and Southeast Asia campaigning directly with local tribal government leaders for women's and children's rights. " Kaplan states in the video above about her upcoming 95th birthday last year—she said it was important to be interested in the world "and not in one's self only."