L'Wren Scott knew her stuff. As an editorial stylist, she collaborated with the likes of Herb Ritts and Karl Lagerfeld, whom she also modeled for earlier in her career. As a costume designer, she created visual stories around some of the most compelling films of the last two decades, including Eyes Wide Shut and Ocean's Eleven. As a Hollywood stylist, she turned Nicole Kidman into a red carpet icon. But it wasn't until 2006, when she launched her line of little black dresses, that her indelible mark on the fashion industry would be made. Those dresses? They were spot on: the fit, the styling, the feeling.
Yes, her partner, Mick Jagger, is one of the most famous people in the world. But I'd argue that Scott's professional trajectory would have looked very similar regardless of Jagger. She had that specific drive that only the most successful people have: she wanted to do things correctly, and fully. And never compromise.
I first met Scott in 2011 at Barneys New York, where she introduced a group of online editors and bloggers to her then-new Lula handbag. I was taken by her fastidious prep work: she had made sure to acquaint herself with nearly every publication so that when she was asked a question by an audience member, she'd be able to connect with them in a real way. She spoke at length about growing up in Utah and being influenced by Old Hollywood. The most telling moment, though, was when she revealed that the bag's hardware was inspired by one tiny detail: the memory of hearing the click of the fastener on her mother's purse. Detail, practicality and nostalgia: three descriptors that I believe aptly capture L'Wren Scott, the brand. (And, what little I knew of her, the woman.)
When Scott agreed to headline Fashionista's conference in Los Angeles last November, I have to admit that I was a little surprised. If it had been in New York, sure, that would have made sense. But heading to Los Angeles meant an 11.5-hour flight from London: was it worth it for a world-class designer to spend an hour with a group of fashion hopefuls? For Scott, it was. And she was more prepared than any speaker I've ever come across. It was captivating to simply watch her go over her presentation, which was full of colorful stories and motivating inspiration. Her team even helped select the intro music, which set the tone for the entire conference. After her speech, we had a few pre-approved audience questions for her to answer. Unsurprisingly, an enthusiastic fan decided to spontaneously shout out to Scott. But it didn't ruffle her. She answered those questions with the same decorum and wisdom as the others. Because, for her, anyone who was interested enough to ask deserved the best answer she could give.
Scott's collection with Banana Republic launched soon after our conference. She seemed truly excited for more women to have access to her clothes, because above all she wanted to make beautiful things that made women feel good. And while her ready-to-wear business seemed to have hit a snag -- she canceled her last runway show in London -- there was certainly plenty of hope around her brand. It's always hard to comprehend how something like this could happen. No matter how outwardly strong or driven or complete someone may seem, demons haunt many of us. No one but Scott's close family and friends -- and maybe not even them -- can know why we're mourning her today. All we can know is that she was a special talent, and a special person, whose work will continue to inspire.