L’Wren Scott, the designer, celebrity stylist and former model who died Monday in what appears to be a suicide, once said, “I’m a fashion designer. I don’t want to be defined as someone’s girlfriend.”
That followed her into death, as many news outlets headlined stories and tweeted the news identifying Scott only as “Mick Jagger’s girlfriend.”
A spokesman for the Rolling Stones singer said “he is completely shocked and devastated by the news.”
Meanwhile, many in the fashion world and beyond have taken offense at the characterization of Scott by the New York Times, the New York Post and others only as a rock star’s girlfriend.
Many took to Twitter to voice their complaints, using hashtags including #everydaysexism and #disrespect.
“I knew L’Wren Scott was a designer. Had no idea who her boyfriend was. RIP.” -- wrote Luiza Ch. Savage, Washington, D.C., bureau chief for Canada’s Maclean’s magazine.
“Before L’Wren Scott was known as ‘Mick Jagger’s girlfriend,’ she was known as a designer with a pretty damn successful career,” Abbie Ruzicka, staffer for Boston public TV-radio station WGBH, wrote.
“My thoughts are with Mick, but her name is L’Wren Scott, not ‘Mick Jagger’s Girlfriend,’ ” fashion reporter Nico Bellay tweeted.
Billboard, New York Magazine, BBC News, MSN UK Entertainment, Yahoo Music Canada and Detroit radio station 106.7 TheD were among other outlets that initially used her long relationship with Jagger as the headline news.
British journalist and author Monisha Rajesh noted of the U.K. Daily Express’ report: “The whole @Daily_Express story is a disgrace. 14 paragraphs before they say L’Wren Scott is a designer.”
But the New York Times has taken the brunt of readers’ ire for an early headline that read, “Mick Jagger’s Girlfriend Found Dead, Official Says.”
“.@nytimes your headline is disrespectful and misogynistic. L’Wren Scott is her name and she was more than somebody’s girlfriend,” wrote Deirdre O’Shaughnessy, editor of the Cork Independent in Ireland.
“Hey NYT, her name is L’Wren Scott. @NYTStyles Mick Jagger’s Girlfriend Found Dead, Official Says,” Harper’s Bazaar executive editor Laura Brown wrote.
“No, @nytimes, L’Wren Scott was not just “Mick Jagger’s girlfriend,’ ” Brooklyn Magazine tweeted.
That headline was amended 12 minutes later in a follow-up tweet that read: “L’Wren Scott, a fashion designer and celebrity stylist, is found dead.”
Twitter also was the site for many message of sadness and sympathy from musicians and other entertainment world figures.
“L’wren Scott dead??? No no no. So original beautiful & talented. how can it be??” singer-songwriter Liz Phair wrote.
“So sad to hear about @lwrenscott,” tweeted singer-songwriter Allison Moorer, herself part of a pop music power couple as the wife of singer-songwriter Steve Earle.
“Heartbroken to learn of the loss of the lovely and talented L’Wren Scott. My thoughts and prayers are with her family,” wrote Bianca Jagger. “May she rest in peace.”
And model-actress Bo Derek tweeted: “RIP L’Wren Scott and thank you for making me feel beautiful.”
Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2