Like most of the world, I was stunned and shocked this week to learn of the death of designer L’Wren Scott. I followed her on social media and loved her clothes. From her Instagram posts, like the one above, it appeared to me and the world, that L’Wren was leading a fabulous jet set life. Her tragic death reminds us that things are not always what they appear. Social media is not always authentic and anyone can manipulate social media to be their best PR tool. Apparently, her fashion house was in deep trouble. According to many sources, including Mail Online her debts totaled 6 million or more and she was about to close the doors on her upscale L’Wren Scott label. Her death reminds me of the tragic suicide of Hollywood designer Irene Lentz who also had an A-list cliente but mounting debts that kept her line from being profitable. When the media buzz about L’Wren’s private life and speculation about the designer’s relationship with Rolling Stone Mick Jagger dies down, here’s what I hope the world will remember about L’Wren Scott: she was a very talented fashion designer with a unique point of view.
Nicole Kidman in L’Wren Scott’s Headmistress Dress via website NicoleKidmanStyle.fileswordpress.com
Fashion is a tough business and I’ve interviewed many designers over the years. Being a creative person and keeping a fashion house afloat are not always in sync. Just because celebrities wear the designer’s clothes doesn’t mean the designer profits or that the clothes sell in the mass-market. With L’Wren Scott, her clothes sold at Barney’s and Neiman Marcus at an average price of $2,000. Some of her gowns were over $5,000. That’s a tough price point in a down economy. Her Banana Republic collection was a success and I think she could have done more of this type of work at a lower price point. Sadly, that was not to be. She is gone too soon and there will be no more of her sleek silhouettes and beautiful tailored dresses (like her headmistress dress pictured above on actress Nicole Kidman.)
Several media reports have said that L’Wren Scott clothes are now selling briskly following the news of her death. One website is now running Google ads to promote a L’Wren Scott “sale.” It’s too bad that kind of marketing wasn’t done in her lifetime, it might have helped her have a great second act like designer Betsey Johnson who has faced financial problems and persevered. Rest in Peace L’Wren Scott, I hope you are in a better place now. I, for one, will miss your great dresses.