Zelda Kaplan – Fashionista at any age
I recently came across this fascinating story about a 95 year old fashionista whose recent passing was mourned in the whole fashion world of New York. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to hear about her, or less meet her in person out and about, when living in New York myself a couple of years ago, but even though she’s no longer walking this earth, I still believe her story is worth telling.
Zelda Kaplan (already there, Zelda, the coolest name) was namely no ordinary 95 year-old, as you might have guessed. (Then again, what is an ordinary 95-year old? I’d say they’re all pretty extraordinary. Either way, Zelda was extraordinary in her very own way.) Quite alone representing her age group she had a habit of raising the middle age of New Yorks night clubs on a regular basis and usually stayed out until the early morning hour. She also frequented fashion shows, gallery openings and art shows and was quickly recognizable by her trademark the big round glasses, the colourful patterns and the ever-matching hat.
She passed away, as it suited such a personality, by fainting just before the start of a fashion show during fashion week in New York in February, and simply not waking up again.
I include a couple of memorable quotes of hers as chosen by the Time magazine (from a New York Times coverage), that I certainly believe to have made her, as they put it: “New York’s oldest and most beloved night owl”.
“I’m a curious person […] I want to keep learning until it’s over. And when it’s over, it’s over.”—New York Times, 2003
“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.” –New York Post, 2010
“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.” – New York Times, 2003
“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.” – New York, 2010
“I think one of the things that keeps me healthy is that I’m not introspective at all. The secret is being interested in things outside of oneself.” – New York, 2003
Zelda Kaplan – Rest in peace.
Image source: http://glamreporter.blogspot.com/2012/02/tragic.html