Now her boyfriend, Mick Jagger, grieving privately with his daughters in Los Angeles, is in the midst of planning her funeral, which PEOPLE has learned will be held in Los Angeles.
"She was not the type to be depressed," says her longtime friend, modeling agent Marilyn Gauthier. "She was always very positive and so strong. That's why I don't understand. She was so full of life." Still, Gauthier acknowledges, "L'Wren was private. She doesn’t open herself up easily. You really had to be very close, to know her."
Gauthier first met Scott more than 20 years ago when they worked together in Paris, where she was photographed by legendary photographers Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdain.
"L'Wren was taller than the other models," recalls Gauthier. "She had incredible proportions, incredible legs. She was always very confident. That’s the way she was raised."
Gauthier got a chance to meet Scott's parents when Scott invited her friend to her Salt Lake City home for Thanksgiving more than 20 years ago, she said.
"She had the sweetest parents," says Gauthier, who remembers the homemade chocolates Scott's mother served. Still, she says, Scott knew "her future was not there. She had other kind of ambitions. She had a lot of things in her head of what she could do."
Gauthier last saw Scott at a party in June, which the designer hosted at London's Serpentine Gallery, with Jagger by her side. "You could see that they were very close," says Gauthier. "They cared for each other very deeply. They had a strong relationship."
Many years ago, Scott once confided her desire for a family of her own. "She told me one time she would like to have a child," says Gauthier. "This was over 10 years ago. But she was so discreet and very private. It wasn't something she often spoke about."
According to a report in The New York Times, Scott had planned to announce she was closing her business this week. "It is difficult to be a designer of high-end clothes without a big group behind you," says Gauthier of the pressure Scott was facing. "But she could have designed for someone else. She could have started again. She was so talented."
After all, it was her strength that Gauthier remembers. "She always moved forward," says Gauthier. "She started from nothing. She became a stylist, then she designed clothes for movies and then a designer of her own line. She was always ambitious and thinking of the next thing. She really climbed up the ladder – all by herself."
"She was always very courageous, which is why I don't understand what happened," Gauthier admits. "I'm afraid she was keeping things to herself. She was so proud. It's so sad because she could have done so much."
With reporting by GILLIAN TELLING