The fashion world is mourning the loss of one of the New York style scene's oldest fixtures, Zelda Kaplan, who died Wednesday at the age of 95.
The party-loving socialite, who had been a regular on the nightlife circuit since the 1960s, collapsed while sitting front row at Joanna Mastroianni's New York Fashion Week presentation at Lincoln Center, falling forward in her seat as models walked the runway.
She was taken to the hospital but could not be revived and was later pronounced dead of natural causes. Once Kaplan was removed by security, the show continued. She was seated next to gossip dowager Cindy Adams, who must have been quite startled by Kaplan's collapse and death.
According to Seventh Avenue legend, Kaplan was a bored housewife in New Jersey and moved to Manhattan so she could attend every club opening, art party, and fashion soiree. Kaplan was renowned for her distinctive African garb and her charitable efforts in Africa.
According to THR senior writer Merle Ginsberg, who's covering the fashion week shows, Kaplan's death was bittersweet: “She loved fashion more than anyone and everyone had said that this is the way she would have wanted to go out.”
A statement released by her friends reads: "Zelda Kaplan passed away suddenly today at the age of 95 from natural causes . . . She will be deeply missed and always loved."
RIP, Zelda. Save a front row seat for us.