Former New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn says L'Wren Scott was having problems with her company and was planning to close her business this week.
In an op-ed in The New York Times, Horyn wrote that Mick Jagger's girlfriend started her company from nothing and became a world-famous fashion designer who dressed actresses Nicole Kidman, Ellen Barkin and Sarah Jessica Parker.
"She started her label in a much smaller Paris apartment, on the Rue de Bellechasse, using a bedroom for a studio and holding small dinner parties during the collections in the front hall," she wrote.
Horyn explained how Scott began her business on a "shoestring" budget, with her and two other women doing all the work.
Scott was found dead in her Manhattan apartment Monday of an apparent suicide, according to New York police. She was 47.
"[Scott] had an incredible work ethic; if there was one thing that bound all her friends, wherever they were born, it was that," she added. "And there was no job she wasn't willing to do herself, which became a problem as her company got bigger."
But Horyn said Scott had trouble managing her business -- "cash flow" in particular.
"Two years ago, our friendship was tested when, after hearing her troubles, I told her she should give herself a time limit to resolve matters or get out. Putting her health in jeopardy because of stress was not worth it, I told her," she wrote. "She didn't like the advice."
This advice got Scott motivated and eventually she landed a deal with Banana Republic, Horyn recalled.
Even with this, Horyn said when they spoke last month, Scott revealed production problems, which forced her to cancel her London Fashion Week show.
"I sent her text on March 12, checking in. She didn't reply, but that wasn't unusual," she wrote. "I learned since her death that she was planning to close her business, with an announcement on Wednesday. Still, as painful as the decision must have been for her, I wouldn't draw any conclusions from it about her state of mind."
She also added any reports about a breakup with Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger were "rubbish."
In fact, Jagger released a statement on yesterday that read, "I am still struggling to understand how my lover and best friend could end her life in this tragic way."
Horyn agreed, saying, "Her death is inexplicable to me, and it makes me angry, too," she said. "Angry because it's the loss of a vital, intelligent woman, and angry because, this once, I don't want her to be a mystery to me."