"New York’s oldest and most beloved night owl "
The venue where Zelda Kaplan took her last breath was a total shock to the Fashion community when she passed away in the front row of her friend Joanna Mastroianni's Fashion show during New York Fashion week.
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Joanna Mastroianni
Zelda Kaplan at a Fashion Week show on Wednesday, shortly before she collapsed and died.
She died the way she lived, as a permanent fixture in the NY fashion scene, full of drama and completely in a unique way.
Evolution Revolution is a place where I like to share stories of inspirational people and Zelda was just that. She put her younger counterparts to shame as she danced till dawn in chic NYC clubs, sipped champagne, frequented fashion shows, travelled around the world for women's rights as she hunted for amazing fabrics for her one-of-a-kind looks.
I have been doing a lot of reading about her over the last few days and I am astonished at how multi-faceted and multi-phased her life was. She went from being a suburban housewife in her 30's (she married 3 times) to a New York Socialite, Party Girl and Fashion LOVER! She was also a world traveller and a crusader for women's rights abroad. She slept all day, danced all night, created her own signature looks complete with hand woven African/Tribal fabrics, Statement jewels and signature sunglasses. Age was just a state of mind to her and she did not let the number's define her or her life.
The Legend of Zelda in her own words (Quotes courtesy of the New York Times & New York Magazine)
ON AGING: "'I want to be an example for young people so they aren't afraid of growing old and a lesson to old people that you can be productive. You don't have to sit around and wait for death."
ON BEDTIME: "Anytime between midnight and 7 a.m."
ON HER LIFE: "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."
ON DRINKING: "Shiraz"
ON DANCING: "I just love a slow fox trot ... To me, the dancing the young people do in the clubs is exercise. There's no skill involved."
ON FASHION: “I wish more people would have [clothes] made for them. But so many Americans want to look like everybody else [...] I hate to wear what everybody else is wearing [...] I don’t think people should be happy to be a clone.”
ON DATING: "Two young men did recently ask if they could make love to me ... But what do I want with a 36-year old?"
ON LEARNING: “Many people turn a certain age and “check out,” but that is not me. In my 90s, I am not able to travel as much, so I must read everything I can at home to remain aware of global change, which provides me great knowledge to empower people through daily conversations, and through my charitable efforts.”
ON BEING REMEMBERED: "I hope people remember me as an intelligent and respectful person who was interested in the world, and especially women’s human rights."
Let's all take a page from Zelda's book; life is meant for LIVING in a CUSTOM way that suits all your aspirations, dreams and desires. Why sit on the couch when you can dance all night and be FABULOUS? Zelda can rest now, knowing she did what she loved right up until the last moment of her earthly life.