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Tuesday 2 September 2014

L'Wren finance rumours ripped to shreds

US DIARY

Orla Healy

Published 23/03/2014 | 02:30

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FILE - This Oct. 18, 2012 file photo shows L'Wren Scott at the London Film Festival American Express Gala for "The Rolling Stones - Crossfire Hurricane", in London. Scott, a fashion designer, was found dead Monday, March 17, 2014, in Manhattan of a possible suicide. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision, File)
L'Wren Scott
FILE - This Feb. 27, 2011 file photo shows actress Amy Adams wearing a L'Wren Scott gown at the 83rd Academy Awards in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.  Scott was found dead Monday, March 17, 2014, in Manhattan of a possible suicide.  (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
Amy Adams wearing a L'Wren Scott gown at the 83rd Academy Awards

So much for the theory that L'Wren Scott killed herself because she was embarrassed and/or upset about the apparent failure of her red-carpet fashion business. The 49-year-old stylist-turned-designer whose shocking suicide last Monday continues to baffle those who knew her was supposedly scheduled to shutter her clothing empire two days later, a surprising revelation made in the New York Times by Scott's longtime friend and the paper's former fashion critic, Cathy Horyn.

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Other media outlets, perhaps wary of the finger-pointing gossip that Scott was despondent about the status of her relationship with Mick Jagger, swiftly jumped on the financial woes angle as a way of explaining Scott's decision to wrap a black satin scarf around her neck and hang herself from the kitchen door of her downtown Manhattan apartment.

There were even reports of insurmountable debts to the tune of $6m despite the fact that LS Fashion Limited is a private company listed in good standing in the state of Delaware where, on March 12, it paid its 2013 taxes.

On Friday, a frustrated member of Scott's team hit back, ripping the speculation as pure fabrication. "The fact that L'Wren Scott would have been hounded by creditors or riddled with debt is preposterous," he told WWD. "The figures quoted in the media regarding the financial status of LS Fashion Limited are not only highly misleading and inaccurate but also extremely hurtful and disrespectful to the memory of L'Wren."

The company (which boasts a ready-to-wear line, a licensing division, a couture collection and a successful collaboration with main-street favourite Banana Republic) was, he said, considering a global restructuring – a move industry-types say would have been de rigeur for Scott's brand of celebrity style adopted by the likes of Amy Adams, Nicole Kidman, Ellen Barkin and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Ikram Goldman, owner of the Chicago boutique credited with styling another Scott loyalist Michelle Obama, says she has been carrying the collection from the get-go and "it sells beautifully".

Brian Bolke, owner of the upmarket Dallas fashion emporium Forty Five Ten, also couldn't get his head around stories about L'Wren's purported financial problems. "The interesting thing is it's not a markdown business. It's very classic and carries over season to season. There's a real following for it." Scott's SS14 line, which sources predict will fold with her death, is slated to hit stores nationwide tomorrow.

WINTOUR LOVES

KANYE AND KIM

 

Kimye landed far more than the cover of Vogue magazine. The celebrity couple also earned the cachet of getting the blessing of Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who uses her editor's letter in the April 2014 issue of the magazine to rebut months of rumours that Kayne strong-armed her into featuring his reality TV star bride-to-be.

"Part of the pleasure of editing Vogue, one that lies in a long tradition of this magazine, is being able to feature those who define the culture at any given moment, who stir things up, whose presence in the world shapes the way it looks and influences the way we see it. I think we can all agree on the fact that that role is currently being played by Kim and Kanye to a T. (Or perhaps that should be to a K?)" Wintour writes.

More pointedly, she continues: "As for the cover, my opinion is that it is both charming and touching, and it was, I should add, entirely our idea to do it; you may have read that Kanye begged me to put his fiancee on Vogue's cover. He did nothing of the sort," she explained. "The gossip might make better reading, but the simple fact of the matter is that it isn't true."

Answering the question that lit up the gob-smacked blogosphere when the April cover image was released, Wintour explained her choice by saying: "There's barely a strand of the modern media that the Kardashian Wests haven't been able to master, and for good reason: Kanye is an amazing performer and cultural provocateur, while Kim, through her strength of character, has created a place for herself in the glare of the world's spotlight, and it takes real guts to do that."

Ditto putting such relentless heat-seeking celebs on the most coveted cover of a US magazine.

MADOFF DEFIANT IN JAIL INTERVIEW

Five years after he was tossed in jail for perpetrating the largest financial fraud in US history, Ponzi-kingpin Bernie Madoff still won't take responsibility for the devastation he wrought. In a wide-ranging interview with Politico.com, the 75-year-old bristles when asked if jail has changed him. "There's nothing for me to change from," he replied nonchalantly. "It's not like I ever considered myself a bad person. I made a horrible mistake and I'm sorry."

The opinionated former financier, who called his sentencing judge "an idiot" and insisted, "I've made more money for Jewish people and charities than I've lost", said he was sure there were other "bad players like myself" getting away with Ponzi schemes. His advice to investors: "Stay out of the stock market. I certainly wouldn't invest in the stock market. I never believed in it. Most people lose money because of the emotional difficulty involved."

Even though he voted for Obama in 2008, Madoff said he is "terribly disappointed" in the president ("his policies are too socialist") and admitted he doesn't think much of Hillary's track record. The only time he shows any pain is in discussing his family. Admitting he holds himself responsible for his son Mark's 2011 suicide, Madoff said: "The thing that was important to me was family, but that's all gone. That's more punishment than being incarcerated."

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