Models continued to sashay down the catwalk, when suddenly Kaplan "slumped forward" at the 1:00pm ET Joanna Mastroianni New York Fashion Week show in The Studio at Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, Fox News reported
"Zelda passed away, right there, in the front row. Security carried her out, but the show just carried on," a source told the New York Post.
“She flopped over in my lap,” said Ruth Finley, publisher of The Fashion Calendar, the New York Times reported
. “The show was just starting. I thought she fainted.”
Security rushed to her side, picked her up, carried her over the runway and given CPR by paramedics.
She was rushed to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center soon after but couldn't be revived.
"Zelda Kaplan passed away suddenly today at the age of 95 from natural causes," friends of the star released in a statement. "She will be deeply missed and always loved."
A former ballroom dance instructor, Kaplan traveled throughout Africa, championing women’s rights and raising awareness about female genital mutilation, the New York Daily News reported.
“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," Kaplan told The Post in 2010
. "I don’t think people should be happy to be a clone.”