L’Wren Scott had it all: fame, fortune, and the love of the eternally young frontman of the Rolling Stones. But, despite the glamor, a mysterious and unspoken darkness festered within her. Countless rumors have circulated as to why this top fashion designer met such a tragic end, but one thing remains certain: It all ended far too soon.
1. Her Parents Abandoned Her
L’Wren Scott was born Luann Bambrough on April 28, 1964, in Roy—a quaint and quiet city in Utah. However, her biological parents quickly cast her aside, and soon after, she was adopted by a loving Mormon couple. But her shaky beginnings only led to a fraught childhood. As she grew, Scott couldn’t shake this feeling of “otherness,” and once she entered school, matters only got worse…
2. She Was An Easy Target
Scott didn’t look like any of the fair-haired, blue-eyed kids in her neighborhood, and by the age of 12, she already towered over her five-foot-tall mother. Needless to say, this six-foot adolescent stuck out like a sore thumb, and her lanky figure landed her the nickname “Stretch.” But her height cost her more than just the mockery of her classmates.
3. No One Believed Her
Because of her unbelievable height, adults kept guessing Scott’s age wrong. When Scott tried to see a movie with her friends, she had to fish out extra cash because the ticket-holders wouldn’t let her pay for a child’s admission. Scott would often go to her mother, Lula, for advice, who encouraged her to take matters into her own hands.
Well, that’s exactly what she did—and it changed her fate forever.
4. She Had To Suck It Up
Scott’s mother always had words of sage advice and would tell her, “Stand up straight, shoulders back, get your heels on,” encouraging her never to diminish herself. When Scott couldn’t fit into kids’ clothing, her mother motivated her to make her own clothes. She even tailored men’s suits for herself, all of which planted a seed in her brain that would blossom into something much, much more.
5. She Had A Stroke Of Luck
Scott quickly tired of small-city livin’ and the whole church scene by the time she was a teen. By chance, her golden ticket would land right on her doorstep. Photographer Bruce Weber spotted Scott while on a trip to her city and recruited her for a Calvin Klein commercial that earned her a pretty penny. This man knew what he was doing, and his advice had her taking a major leap of faith.
6. She Made A Great Escape
Shortly after Scott’s commercial gig, she felt bold enough to make a move that would drastically change the trajectory of her life. Scott fled small-city Utah and life as she knew it (without even telling her parents) for Paris, a city that promised exactly the kind of elegance and excitement she was looking for. But, her chic new surroundings had her questioning her identity from top to bottom.
7. She Changed Her Name
Scott’s efforts to reinvent herself did not stop at flying overseas. If she wanted stardom, she’d need a name that commanded it, and so her agents made the perfect recommendation. “Luann” became “L’Wren” and “Bambrough” became “Scott.” The Wren was a name that inspired both sophistication and mystique. But even with her fresh start, a familiar problem came back to haunt her…
8. She Was The Odd One Out
If Scott was to fit in anywhere, it had to be among models. After all, she already had a commercial gig under her belt. What could possibly go wrong? The only thing was, once she tried out for the catwalk, familiar criticism began to rain down on her all over again—she was just too tall. In a lineup of fashion models, Scott didn’t fit in at all.
This time, however, she wasn’t going to keep quiet about the matter.
9. She Put Her Foot Down
If there was one thing Scott learned from her mother, it was to never make herself small. Scott drew the line when her agency tried to make her seem more appealing by lying about her height and her shoe size. No way, especially not after years of hard-earned self-acceptance! It was back to square one for Scott, but she soon found out that—in her own unique way—she did have a leg up on the competition.
10. Her Legs Rocked The Clock
Scott could not lose hope. Her long legs must’ve been good for something, and they just happened to be the perfect advertisement for one thing in particular—pantyhose. David Bailey hired Scott for his commercial advertising Pretty Polly hosiery, photographing her from 30 feet in the air where her legs became the hands of a clock.
Of thousands of girls, Bailey said, “She had the best legs in the world!” But this wasn’t enough for Scott, and it was time for this bird to take flight again.
11. She Was All Over The Place
After hardly being in Paris for five years, Scott decided to move to sunny Los Angeles to try her hand at styling. Here, she ran into renowned photographer Herb Ritts, who gave her the assignment of styling Jim Carrey’s 1995 Rolling Stone cover. Ritts was so impressed with her that the two would become long-time collaborators.
Of course, this would set her up for even more famous—and utterly life-changing—encounters.
12. She Heard A-List Gossip
With the help of Ritts, Scott became everyone’s go-to stylist, especially when they were in a pinch. Some of her clientele included Penelope Cruz, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Nicole Kidman. But it wasn’t just a job. Scott’s sisterly presence had these women opening up completely. She once stated in an interview that being a stylist was mostly psychology work.
But soon, Scott wanted someone to listen to her problems. Her heart was open to finding love—but when she finally found someone, it was nothing like she’d imagined.
13. She Made A Big Mistake
In the late 80s, Scott retired from modeling altogether, adopting the name “Lauren Scott” and losing herself in the arms of a property developer in London named Andrew Ladsky. Ladsky was an elusive man that the tabloids had a hard time finding any information on. And perhaps for good reason. Everything was just peachy—until it wasn’t.
14. She Dated Short Men
Scott never let her height get in the way of a potential match, and oftentimes she ended up with someone much shorter than her. With that, Scott and Ladsky were definitely a unique-looking pair with him standing at 5’4” and her at 6’3.” This odd couple even married. But Scott was always private about her relationships, so when she devised a sudden escape plan, everyone was shocked.
15. She Begged For A Way Out
Scott’s marriage came to a screeching halt after only nine months for reasons the media could never pinpoint, but it was serious enough that she had to call British intelligence officers for help. Scott wanted out by morning, but the crew needed at least 48 hours to devise a solid plan and find the wheels to move all her stuff. As a result, Ladsky was put under surveillance.
That put an end to broken marriage number one. Of course, it wasn’t long before she struck up broken marriage number two.
16. She Bounced Between Men
Scott found herself in a new but familiar sort of mess: She shacked up with another “Anthony” only a month after settling the divorce with her previous husband. Anthony Brand managed his mother’s Prada Franchise in dreamy Beverly Hills, and Scott took to being the PR manager. Everything looked good on paper, but once they married, everything changed.
17. Her Husband Caused Her Trauma
The stress that came from Scott’s relationship with Brand left her sick and scarily skinny. One of the issues was that she couldn’t win over his family. No one thought they made a good couple, and his family didn’t understand her. Was she a model? A stylist? The relationship proved strenuous and the two parted ways. She put her love life on hold for the time being, marrying herself to her art once again. But this soon went awry as well.
18. She Endured Harsh Critics
At the 1999 Oscars, while working freelance alongside Ritts, a few styling choices got Scott in trouble. Critics claimed the dress Scott chose for Renee Zellweger looked a little too “prom night” and the one she chose for Mariah Carey made it look like she’d gained weight. But Scott wouldn’t let that ruin her chances with an up-and-coming gig.
She took control of the messy situation in the only way she knew how…with intimidation.
19. Her Confidence Made People Shake
Scott had a hard exterior and confidence that appeared impenetrable. In the office of David Naylor, a man who gave her the “go-ahead” on a commercial shoot, she stood by her past controversial decisions in all-black leather and high heels, really painting the picture of who’s boss. Scott let Naylor know she knew what she was doing, and that’s when she let him in on a little secret, and she put it quite bluntly.
20. She Called It Quits
Although Ritts paved the way for Scott in terms of opportunity, she grew tired of his dependence on her. “I make all the decisions anyway,” Scott said to future collaborator David Naylor. After years of working with one another, Scott and Ritts officially called their partnership off. But as they say, when one door closes, another door opens, and this time, the door led straight to rock royalty.
21. She Charmed A Rock God
Scott attracted onlookers of all sorts, even ones of the rock-star variety. After a dinner where Scott made an acquaintance with Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, they took to the clubs. Jagger became utterly entranced by her legs while watching her shake it on a table with all the confidence in the world. Despite going through the wringer with several breakups himself, Jagger had his eyes trained on a new target.
22. She Gave Him An Ultimatum
Scott claimed to not have much of an idea who Jagger was, and that only added to her overall allure. When Scott did agree to date him, Jagger had to follow only one rule: Keep their relationship under wraps. She didn’t want to deal with scathing judgments given Jagger’s fickle dating history. The two managed to hide their love from the media and even her family for more than three years.
But how do you keep a relationship with a world-famous rocker hidden? Well, they had their methods.
23. Her Beau Hid Her From The Public
Jagger went to great lengths to respect his new lover’s wishes, even providing false narratives to his staff to stop them from blabbing. Despite living in London himself, Jagger arranged for Scott to meet him at hotels to avoid any possible paparazzi encounters. Even his new house had a secret back exit. But they had quite the controversial next-door neighbor.
24. She Caused Trouble For His Ex
A divorce wouldn’t stop Jagger from seeing his children, and what better way to do so than to move right next door to your ex? Jerry Hall, the ex, was less than pleased with this development, and she hated seeing Scott sneaking around. By 2003, Hall banned Scott from the property, claiming the couple was a “bad influence.” Scott had no qualms with this back-and-forth lifestyle, but she couldn’t fly under the radar forever.
25. She Finally Spilled The Beans
Scott wasn’t close with her family after she moved out, but one Christmas phone call forced her hand. Scott’s brother answered the phone to a mysterious British man asking for her, which made her finally reveal the news that she was dating Mick Jagger. They weren’t entirely surprised, but the couple still puzzled them. At last, the cat was out of the bag, and the two were ready to go public.
26. She Made A Grown Man Dry
Once the clandestine couple stepped into the light of day, Jagger started acting differently. His days of being a rambunctious rockstar were over. He was “less fun” and seemed to always cater to Scott’s needs, apologizing when he didn’t have to. When Jagger’s old habits arose—flirtations with other women—Scott would glare daggers across the room.
But the band missed the old Mick, and they made that very apparent.
27. The Band Didn’t Like Her
It was hard for Scott to fit into a well-established dynamic, and it didn’t help that the band missed Jagger’s ex-girlfriend Jerry Hall. Charlie Watts thought Scott was a snob, but it was Keith Richards who had the most to say. Knowing Jagger longer than most, Richards reportedly teased Scott about her shoe size and called her “Le Man.”
Even Jagger’s kids had their own nicknames for Scott.
28. She Had Many Nicknames
While the band called Scott names of a demeaning nature, she was well-loved by her partner’s children. Jagger’s youngest grandson had a particularly sweet nickname for Scott—an endearing combination of “glamorous” and “granny”—“Glammy.” Scott was lucky to have their approval, but her friends speculated that she wanted more.
29. Her Sister Had Something She Wanted
When Scott’s father passed away in 2002, she arrived back in Utah with bodyguards at her side. However, the company she kept wasn’t the most shocking thing. During this time, she confessed something to her sister Jan that was absolutely heartbreaking. Scott had the wealth, but she admitted that she envied her sister because she had her own family.
It was clear that Scott had a singular fantasy, but in the end, all her hopes were in vain.
30. She Couldn’t Tie Him Down
For the new couple, a conflict of interest arose around security, and Jagger had already declined two things that would provide that—marriage and children. But Scott was holding on to false hope. When a friend was over to visit, Scott showcased a couple of rooms for “the children” but didn’t make it clear which children she was referring to.
Sadly, a family was out of the question, so she sought security in a different way.
31. Her Boyfriend Was More Than Just A Partner
Jagger invested in Scott’s business because he believed in her conviction. Some sources say he contributed two million dollars, but all in all, he did a lot more than that, and it wasn’t simply a donation. He expected to make some profit too. The couple’s lives were incredibly intertwined, and with Jagger by her side, Scott took on one of her lifelong dreams.
32. She Created Her Own Label
By the year 2006, Scott worked hard to launch her own collection titled “Little Black Dress” which involved—as one might guess—black dresses. One of the dresses even found themselves on pop diva Madonna in what Scott called the “Headmistress dress.” This is where Scott figured out her personal taste, developing what her devoted fans would call “L’Wrenisms.”
33. She Had Her Own Life Tips
“L’Wrenisms” weren’t just beauty suggestions—they were ways of life. These included: wearing a nude heel to make your legs appear longer, spraying perfume on the back of the hand rather than the wrist (because it was more tasteful that way), and to never ever eat with plastic cutlery. Oh, and don’t drink out of a bottle either.
You see, following these steps were supposed to bring you closer to the glamor of L’Wren Scott. And she even had her boyfriend adhering to her lifestyle.
34. She Played “Dress Up” With Her Partner
Being the girlfriend of Mick Jagger, Scott couldn’t let her man wear anything less than glamorous. She lined Jagger’s wardrobe with luxurious garments designed by her before stepping out on stage. Of course, Scott’s perfectionism led her to tons of stress. Once, she tore up 25 pairs of pants before arriving at something she liked. This perfectionism even influenced her romantic gestures.
35. She Was An Expensive Lover
If there was one thing Scott was good at, it was making things look nice. It didn’t stop at clothing—even dates had to be perfect. Scott would often take the lead in their relationship, arranging exotic trips for the pair and setting up elaborate dinners with gifts for the guests. Friends envied their lifestyle, but there was something nefarious that they’d didn’t realize.
Jagger’s dime enabled much of Scott’s luxurious lifestyle. And while Scott’s devotion was admirable, was he as devoted to her?
36. Her Boyfriend Was Back To His Old Ways
Scott’s visits to Utah were few and far in between, but in 2008, news of her mother’s passing had her there in a jiffy. Unfortunately, when she arrived back home in London, she received even more questionable news. The tabloids were ablaze with fresh gossip about her boyfriend, Jagger, seeing another woman, a fabric production manager in his circle named Molly Miller Mundy.
37. She Ignored The Controversy
Scott didn’t believe the chatter. Surely a 70-something-year-old man would be too mature for a side chick…right? However, later, in 2010, news came out that Jagger had bought Miller jewelry as a Christmas present. He did, after all, buy jewelry for the women he liked. In fact, Scott claimed that that was all that he ever bought her.
So when Scott made an ambitious investment that year, there were speculations as to where she got all that money.
38. She Made An Ambitious Investment
In 2010, Scott made a hefty investment she couldn’t afford. Despite having shared estates with Jagger all over the globe, she purchased a 5.6 million dollar New York apartment for herself. It was elegant, extravagant, and had what was called a “sky garage,” an elevator that would bring your car to your door. But this took a rather large chunk out of her paycheck.
As such, she had to stoop to some extremely low levels for her business.
39. She Had Too Much Pride
Scott contacted Robert Bensoussan (former CEO of Jimmy Choo and Christian Lacroix) for a short-term loan but backed out when Benoussa wanted interest on it. She gave him her sob story of growing up in a Mormon community and moving to Paris without a dollar to her name, to which Benoussa suggested she ask Jagger if she wanted money. Embarrassed, she couldn’t ask him when he had already helped so much.
Scott was running out of ideas and time.
40. She Couldn’t Meet The Deadlines
Having work sent to the same factories as high-end, popular brands like Chanel and Dior, Scott soon realized that many of her designs were being tossed on the backburner. There was just more demand for the other products. According to a close friend, this only seemed to motivate Scott to work harder. Of course, knowing Scott, she wouldn’t let anyone see her crack under pressure. But this pressure would soon spill over into her personal life.
41. Her Boyfriend Was Reaching His Limit
Scott’s business was really starting to go downhill, and even a loyal client like Michelle Obama wasn’t enough to keep her business afloat. Jagger grew frustrated at the news of Scott losing money, which she blamed on a new CEO, and had her confront those she disappointed. This formed a rift in the relationship, which Scott expressed in her next fashion line.
42. Her Fashion Was Metaphorical
Scott designed a runway inspired by the art she had in her New York apartment that had a certain melancholy attached to it. Inspired by Tagasode, a Japanese art movement that depicted pieces of clothing draped over racks, Scott claimed that the runway represented the beautiful outfits a woman would wear for a husband absent at war and instead shown off to friends. Metaphorical indeed, but there was more to it…
43. Her Partner Left Her All Alone
Scott’s show began with the chanting of Buddhist monks, which was a direct reference to a trip Jagger took to Laos without her. The last number had a model dressed in white wedding attire with the line “I feel like crying” playing over and over again. It was clear Scott was experiencing some sort of inner turmoil, but no one knew why…They also didn’t know that they had just witnessed Scott’s last show.
44. She Fell Apart
Scott faced yet another setback in 2013 and this time it was physical. She suffered a tragic knee injury that had her on crutches. But the hits just kept coming. Not long after, she came down with a terrible flu, which landed her in the hospital and earned her a prescription for sinusitis. As her health nosedived in every way imaginable, she was unable to fulfill her obligations to her clients. And it was only going to get worse.
45. Her Boyfriend Betrayed Her
While Scot silent suffered, her partner continued his rockstar lifestyle, doing what rock stars do best—charming women. Although Jagger invited Scott on the tour, she was in no shape to join. In turn, rumors began circulating that Jagger was seeing 27-year-old ballerina Melanie Hamrick while he was on tour in Japan. Whether it was the infidelity or the pressure of her business, Scott could no longer handle it, and what she did next left everyone in shock.
46. She Left On Short Notice
Only months before Scott’s 50th birthday, she left her assistant a message saying simply to “come by.” What that assistant found made her jaw drop: Scott had hung herself by a scarf from her doorknob and didn’t even leave a note. The paramedics arrived, but there was nothing more they could do for Scott but escort her out of her grand apartment through a crowd of photographers hoping to make the news before anyone else.
The news shocked the fashion world, but how would her lover react?
47. Her Partner Said The Show Must Go On
When the news reached Jagger’s ears, it apparently wasn’t enough to cancel the Stones’ tour, the dates were just pushed back. Clearly, for Jagger, the show must go on, and it did—shortly after Scott’s death, he wound up officially dating that ballet dancer he’d met in Japan. “It’s no wonder she was depressed,” said Scott’s sister Jan, unaware of yet another shocking fact her sister was hiding.
48. She Left Him With A Burden
Along with Scott’s death, another shocking revelation came to light. Many speculated that she was going to close her business altogether due to frequent cancellations, but no one knew that her fashion line was about $10 million in debt. To top it all off, she left everything she had to Jagger. Needless to say, her devotion to him transcended time, and he finally showed his devotion in the end.
49. She Had Him Where She Wanted
Just as Scott always wanted, she finally had Jagger joining her at the chapel. But unfortunately, he was not standing beside her as the groom but as next of kin. Her casket was a beautiful display of pale pink roses, her signature flower, and inside she lay dressed to the nines. Her brother, Randall, devastated by his sister’s death, cried, “Why would you hurt so many people?”
But at the time of her passing, Scott was hurting deeply herself, and one final message from her reflected this.
50. She Left A Cryptic Message
As much of a mystery as her entire passing was, there was a cryptic Facebook post from her account published after her passing. It was an image by photographer Tim Walker of an array of party dresses hanging from trees, like a present-day Tagasode, bathed in a haunting light. Soon after, the image was removed from her Facebook, bringing the story of L’Wren Scott to a somber and haunting end.