Suicide suspected in death of designer

Scott was longtime

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NEW YORK -- L'Wren Scott, who left her small-town Utah home as a teenager to become a model in Paris, then a top Hollywood stylist and finally a high-end fashion designer best known as the longtime girlfriend of Mick Jagger, has died in what was being investigated as an apparent suicide.

Ms. Scott was found dead in her Manhattan apartment at 10 a.m. Monday. No note was found, and there was no sign of foul play, police said. The designer had texted her assistant 90 minutes earlier and asked her to come to her apartment but didn't say why.

She was found kneeling, with a scarf wrapped around her neck that had been tied to the handle of a French door, police said. Her spokesperson requested privacy for her family and friends.

Just last month, Ms. Scott -- who was believed to be 49, but had not disclosed her precise age -- canceled her London Fashion Week show because of reported production delays.

Mr. Jagger's representative said the singer was "completely shocked and devastated by the news" of her death.

Ms. Scott, whose elegant designs in lush fabrics were favored by celebrities such as Madonna, Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey, Penelope Cruz and first lady Michelle Obama, was a fixture on Mr. Jagger's arm since she met the Rolling Stones frontman in 2001. On red carpets, the striking 6-foot-3 designer towered over her famous 5-foot-10 boyfriend.

In 2006, five years after they became a couple, Ms. Scott founded her eponymous label, with an initial collection based on the "Little Black Dress." She became known for designs that had a vintage feel and bared little skin, such as her famous "headmistress" dress -- prim, with three-quarter sleeves, but also close-fitting and stylish.

In 2009, Ms. Scott introduced a shoe collection, and in 2010, she collaborated with Lancome on a makeup line and a fragrance. In 2011, came a handbag line; in 2012, an eyewear collection; and late last year, a collaboration with Banana Republic for a line of affordable clothes.

Though her studio is based in London, Ms. Scott presented her runway shows in New York until recently. They were exclusive A-list affairs like few others.

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