Zelda Kaplan, the 95-year-old woman known for her love of Manhattan’s nightlife and arts scene, died Wednesday after collapsing at a show during New York Fashion Week.
You can read about her passing here.
But for a much more interesting story, you should check out the New York Times profile on Zelda from 2003:
Ms. Kaplan, who has a tiny frame and a big, brassy voice, is, perhaps, New York’s oldest and most beloved night owl. Several evenings a week she leaves her rent-controlled apartment on West 57th Street wearing her trademark ensemble — matching African-print dress, handbag and shoes, and a tall hat that rests atop her head like a cloth beehive — and bounces from one affair to the next, rarely returning home before dawn.
But Ms. Kaplan also does something surprising for most night creatures, or, for that matter, octogenarians. Periodically, she exits the party circuit to travel, particularly to Africa, where for the past three decades she has tromped through remote villages speaking to tribes about women’s rights.
Ms. Kaplan’s humanitarian efforts, coupled with her youthful pep and snazzy wardrobe, have made her the darling of a growing number of artists and models who view her as a positive model for aging. ”Zelda has the soul of a 20-year-old,” said Grace Edwards, a fashion designer who recently asked Ms. Kaplan to model in a runway show.
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