RIP the Late Great L’Wren Scott

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L’Wren Scott leading the glamorous life from her Instagram account.

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.

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2 Comments

  1. linda arrozMarch 20, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Mary,
    Well said and RIP L’Wren Scott. There is a great deal of pressure once one becomes a public figure. Fashion is one of the hardest places to work, on almost any level, as the expectations are so high. Expectations to always look fantastic, to be living la dolce vita. The facade of social media has upped the ante on the high stakes of a fashon career or business. Things must always appear better, brighter and more exciting.
    I’m very sorry L’ Wren Scott felt she had to keep her troubles to herself, that she didn’t feel she had a support team of friends and family who would be there for her. That she felt she would be judged or it would be a scandal.
    As I mentionen on my FB page when I heard the news, there were options. Even recognizable names like Isaac Mizrahi, whose clothes once hung at the might emporiums of Fifth Avenue and Beverly Hills, and whose business failed, is now selling handbags on QVC. And probably making more money than ever. Someone commented on my FB post that she was selfish. And they are right. Her final act has caused much shock and grief around the world, and her friends and family are suffering, and left wondering what they could have done to prevent her death.
    Out of respect, the Rolling Stones canceled concerts, leaving fans in the lurch and probably causing tough negotiations and stressful situations behind the scenes in terms of travel, hotels, employees and refunds.
    That may sound crass, but as another friend, a writer, commented on my FB, why wait until your boyfriend, best friend, lover, is half way around the world to do the deed. Mental illness? Perhaps medication will be discovered to have played a part.
    We may never know. But with Alexander McQueen, Isabella Blow and now L’Wren Scott, it seems desperation comes in threes.

  2. Peggy aka RadarMarch 21, 2014 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    Thank you Mary for your article. This is very sad but I appreciate your points on her life and tragic death.