The Fashion Week crowd was stunned Wednesday when 95-year-old nightlife legend Zelda Kaplan died during a runway show. She was pronounced dead at Roosevelt Hospital, although the cause of death was not named. She was 95 years old. “I was sitting right next to her. She flopped over in my lap,” Ruth Finley, publisher of the Fashion Calendar, told the Associated Press. “The show was just starting. I thought she fainted. Two men carried her out.” Kaplan always attended Mastroianni’s shows, according to Mastroianni’s husband, as she was a good friend of the designer’s stylist, Mia Morgan.
Known for her eccentric fashion sense and frequently documented by photographers like Advanced Style’s Ari Seth Cohen, Kaplan was a fixture of the New York City arts scene. She was the subject of a documentary film, Her Name is Zelda, in 2003, and regarded by many as a positive example of aging with panache.