Zelda Kaplan, New York socialite and eccentric, died on February 15 at the age of 95. The staple in New York’s art and club society was well-known for her outfits and her personality. After travelling around Africa and Asia after her second divorce (speaking to women in villages about birth control and female genital mutilation), she returned to New York with multitudes of African prints purchased directly from the weavers. She turned these into matching outfits ensembles, and was never seen in New York’s club district without her printed dress and matching tall hat.
Zelda was an enigma; she became famous for just being herself. She could out-party kids who were a third of her age, and didn’t care what people would have thought of her. She often stayed at clubs until they closed for the night, before making exits just as smooth as her entrances.
She was more than just her eccentric reputation; she was the passionate old woman with the spirit of a 20-year-old, the character of a philanthropist, and the nature of a true artiste.
Goodbye, Zelda Kaplan. The world will be a little less exuberant without you.
text by Sofie Mikhaylova