Style Icon: Zelda Kaplan

Originally published February 16, 2012

Rest In Peace sweet Zelda, not only have you graced us with your fabulous sense of style and unbeknownst to most, you also taught a valuable lesson in sustainable fashion. The best way to reach style icon status:


Be Yourself - Don't follow every whim of this ever increasing trend cycle machine. It's so fast these days who can keep up or want to dedicate the time in trying, life is too short. (Who doesn't love fashion but again, balance is good and isn't it getting a little extreme?)


Zelda made all her clothes! She travelled the world, bought fabrics/textiles directly from weavers on her travels and made the clothes herself from these fabrics (or had someone make them). Yes, I know we can't all travel the world like that to buy textiles but I think there is a deeper message here in how she went about creating clothes. Zelda bought from craftsmen/women directly, supporting their trade. Zelda knew exactly where her fabric came from and how it was made. Zelda became part of the process.

  • My friend Irene Stickney opened up an amazing sewing studio, The Make Den, http://themakeden.blogspot.comhttp://www.themakeden.com/  here in Toronto, so you can learn how to sew and make your own clothes. Stylish clothes at that, beginner classes learn how to make their own slouchy leather hobo bags or a tailored to you pencil skirt (which is also in fashion for spring 2012).

  • New designers are a good source for getting clothes made for you. They are eager, usually pretty poor and will be more than excited to get the chance to make stylish clothes for someone. It's a win-win. Contact your local fashion design program see if any graduating students or graduates would like to take on some business. They are great resource, ready and willing! You may even be able to source fabric made locally.

Now some photos of the amazing Zelda, a regular fixture on the New York fashion scene.