Another passing...

President of the World Cultures Council and Socialite Zelda Kaplan died, collapsing in the front row of a runway show during Fashion Week.

The 95-year-old Kaplan appeared to faint and slumped in the lap of Ruth Finley, publisher of the Fashion Calendar, just as the show was starting. Security carried her out of the tent, and she was given CPR by paramedics on the scene before being rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Just minutes before her collapse, the arts-scene icon was posing for photographers at the Joanna Mastroianni fashion show at Lincoln Center, showing off her vibrant, red African print ensemble. Kaplan was known not only for being an inspiration in the fashion scene, but also for being a “club kid” at heart, often partying into the morning hours at some of New York’s most exclusive nightlife haunts.

Kaplan has said many things about having fun and making the most of life, and was revered for her young spirit. In addition to being a nightlife and fashion fixture, the twice-divorced Kaplan was known for her philanthropy, spending much of her 60s and 70s in Africa, championing women’s rights with local tribal government leaders. She was also a ballroom dancer and instructor, as well as a women’s golf pro in Miami in her twenties.

“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.”

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