Here’s Looking at You, Kid!


An old soul forging a young and beautifully vibrant life moved onto her next big adventure this weekend as Diane Naegel died on Sunday morning. The news turned my stomach and ignited my spirit of Carpe Diem.

Diane Naegel and her fiance, Don Spiro.

To me, Diane is the kind of person who transcends time and circumstances. Always true to herself and endlessly gracious and beautiful with every person.

The knack of leaving a person feeling extraordinary and special is by no means an easy thing, and for Diane it was second nature — never calculated or forced. I was endlessly jealous of her ability to be so great with everyone.

To me, Diane embodies the epitome of grace, charm and ethereal beauty. At events, I would marvel at how she moved throughout the crowds, mingling with ease — paying mind to each person without rush or distraction — despite her attention being in great demand.

As the publisher of Zelda: A Magazine for the Vintage Nouveau, and producer of the monthly 1920s event, Wit’s End, Diane also worked as a designer with Osh’Kosh.

Her life being full and vibrant, she lived out her passions — not talking about them, rather building her dream as a reality.

Back in April, Diane lent some of her expertise on Rose Marie Reid swimsuits and modeled her own in Thrifty Vintage Chic Swimsuit Edition. Perhaps, you remember meeting her then?

To get a small snapshot of the incredible Diane Naegel and what she means to the community of New York vintage enthusiasts, here is a tribute video.

What’s the Take-Away

Carpe Diem & Share Your Heart Out!

On Saturday evening, I attended the monthly celebration of the great jazz age called, Wit’s End. It is an event created by Diane Naegel and photographer Don Spiro, born out of their love of the era and desire to create a place for like souls to celebrate their passions.

The evening was super special for all of us, it was the belated celebration of Diane and Don’s engagement. (The original date had been cancelled due to Hurricane Irene.)

To see two vintage lovers come together as lovers and partners in life just is a dream come true — something that again sparked my jealousy, as well as inspiration in Diane having found her soul mate.

Like a girl, I couldn’t wait to gush with her about her art deco engagement ring — a couple weeks prior at the Dances of Vice 1950s Prom, I had gotten the scoop on the ring from Don.

Heading to the event, I realized I had forgotten my favorite vintage couple’s engagement gift — and thought, “well, I can send it the old fashioned way”. Upon arriving, my excitement turned to worry when I learned the brilliant couple wasn’t present because Diane was ill and not able to make it out.

Needless to say, it was a dreadful shock to receive a phone call the next morning that Diane had just passed away.

I am still in shock. And my words are at a loss — so forget eloquence, what I am aware of is the fleeting moments of time we all have. How I take it for granted everyday — even just two years after my own serious medical challenge — that tomorrow is not promised to us … and yet, I bank on it — being able to have that conversation, to reschedule that lunch, to fulfill those plans.

Diane inspires me as she always has — living every moment with such joy and without complaint. And to truly be extraordinary in everything that I do.

Hugs & Kisses,Robin

You have my word that I will see to it that our fundraiser is realized as an incredibly successful event marked by making a real difference in the lives of women dealing with medical challenges.