All Articles Tagged "Fashion Icon"
by Marissa Ellis
While the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin celebrated her 70th birthday yesterday, another entertainment icon Diana Ross is celebrating her 68th birthday as we speak. Ross is known just as much for her defining style and larger than life hair as she is for her Motown legacy. The leader of the Supremes has definitely influenced countless women through the decades. In honor of the Detroit Diva’s birthday, we take a look at some of our favorite looks from Ms. Ross.
Eartha Kitt was a fascinating woman with an equally fascinating story. Born in 1927, Eartha Kitt was the product of a rape between a Cherokee woman and German-Dutch man. As a young girl Eartha went to live with an aunt, who she believed was her biological mother, in South Carolina until she was eight years old. When her aunt got married, her new husband did not like the fact that Eartha was too light complected. So she moved to Harlem to live with her biological mother, although she didn’t know it at the time.
From there, Eartha started performing in Harlem and went on to become a singer, actress and a cabaret star. Spending a good portion of her career in Europe, Eartha spoke four languages and sang in seven. Always reemerging at different points in her career, Orson Welles called her “the most exciting woman in the world.” While there’s no way we can prove that, Eartha definitely was an exciting woman. If you need any proof, check out the pictures of the starlet throughout the course of her lifetime.
You certainly can’t say Zelda Kaplan didn’t love fashion right up until the end. Yesterday, the 95-year-old who has been a staple on the front row of her longtime friend and designer Joanna Mastroianni’s show during Fashion Week, collapsed and died halfway through the event.
After learning of her passing, Mastroianni called Kaplan an “icon of the fashion community” and said “She had such a love of life and believed in living every day to the fullest.”
According to the New York Times, Kaplan was known for wearing oversized glasses, bold African prints, and a toque to match nearly every outfit—which she made herself.
“She was an original,” said Patrick McDonald, a writer for Paper magazine and style-world habitué. “She never wore the same outfit twice but always had the same style. That’s what was so vivid about her.
“When Zelda was in the room, you knew it was an occasion. Her lust for life was unbelievable. She signified that you could be yourself whatever your age and enjoy every moment of it.”’
Kaplan grew up in Flemington, NJ, and after she divorced her second husband, doctor Samuel Kaplan, in the late 1960s she moved to New York, became a ballroom dance instructor, and cultivated her fascination with “primitive cultures,” traveling to places like Mali for exotic wood carvings, and also to Africa to speak out against female genital cutting and lobby for women’s rights.
She’ll definitely be missed on the scene in her favorite late-night spots like the Bungalow 8 in Chelsea.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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