The bubbly, optimistic lifestyle expert, entrepreneur and reality star, also known as the “queen of effortless chic,” tried not to let her diagnosis get her down–even though her makeup artists were the ones to first point out that her eyes had an odd green tint. That observation eventually led to the diagnosis of bile duct cancer, a condition she discussed with several media outlets in early 2015.
When news broke of her death, the Internet poured its heart out. Sources say she died surrounded in love, in the presence of close family and friends. She was 36.
In the hours since her death, a veritable who’s who of Hollywood and fashion has shared Facebook and Twitter messages of their time with Lewellyn, who in 2015 gave a portent of this moment in a pragmatic fashion with Madame Noire, saying: “Well, you know what? I’m not afraid to die. It wasn’t like I wanted to die and it wasn’t like I didn’t want to live because I absolutely love my life and I’ve always loved my life, but they told me it was stage three cancer. I was like, ‘Well, if it’s my time to go, I’m OK with it.’”
Lewellyn was a friend to many, and a devoted member of New York City’s First Corinthian Baptist Church. She even recruited entertainment and fashion industry friends to help her with a mentorship program, DREAMgirls, that she created specifically to help mentor and inspire young girls in a program supported by the congregation. In fact, that’s how New York-based PR and marketing expert Simone Smalls best remembers her friend.
“I met Daisy many years ago at a Fashion Week event,” says Smalls. “She had such a bubbly personality and brilliant smile. I’ve seen her grow over the years into a fashion stylist, style expert and TV personality with such grace; always humble with a smile and upbeat spirit.”
Last year, in fact, Smalls worked with Lewellyn on a panel where she and other industry insiders talked with the youth about success.
“It was such a great experience and Daisy was such a mentor to so many of the young girls who were interested in pursuing careers in entertainment and fashion,” says Smalls. “RIP Daisy. You will be truly missed.”
Born Jan. 15, 1980, Lewellyn grew up to become a style expert and makeover queen. She worked in the fashion industry for 15 years, wrote a popular book, Never Pay Retail Again: Shop Smart, Spend Less, & Look Your Best Ever (Simon & Schuster) and was known for her work in In Style and Glamour. She also was known for her clever and helpful consultations and speeches, including How to Pose Skinny, Build a Smart Closet, and Spot Fashion Picks that Will Make You Look 5 Years Younger & 10 Pounds Thinner. A self-proclaimed Daddy’s girl, the stylist most recently posted a picture on Twitter of herself and her dad. She had worked with everybody from Meredith Vieira to Wendy Williams to the cast of The Today Show. She made her home in both New York City and Los Angeles.
Bravo, which featured her in its “Blood, Sweat & Heels” program, also released the following statement:
“We are devastated to learn that Daisy Lewellyn from Bravo’s Blood, Sweat & Heels has passed away this morning after a battle with a rare form of cancer. Daisy passed on in peace and filled with joy, surrounded by her family and friends. We are all saddened to lose this wonderful woman. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy is expressed.”
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Senior Editor, EBONY Magazine