New York Socialite Zelda Kaplan Dies After Collapsing at Fashion Show

Credit: Katy Winn/Getty Images for IMG.

This is sad: Zelda Kaplan, a fixture of the New York social scene, died Wednesday after collapsing in the front row of a fashion show. She was 95.

Kaplan keeled over midway through the Joanna Mastroianni runway show at Lincoln Center. She was carried out by security as the show went on, taken to a hospital and later pronounced dead of natural causes.

A former ballroom dance instructor, the twice-divorced Kaplan eschewed the conventions of age and partied through her senior years. She attended hundreds of art openings, fashion shows, galas and similar events, hanging out at hot spots like Bungalow 8 after club kids decades younger than her had called it a night.

Her passion was Africa. She traveled throughout the continent championing women's rights and raising awareness about female genital mutilation. Many of her outfits were inspired by African tribal colors and patterns.