NEW YORK — Swimwear designer Sylvie Cachay, 33, was found dead in a bathtub Thursday morning at the members-only club Soho House in the Meatpacking District here.
Cachay’s boyfriend of about six months, Nicholas Brooks, was taken in by police for questioning Thursday, according to friends of the deceased. At press time, a New York City Police Department spokesman would say only that investigators were speaking with a person of interest.
The 24-year-old Brooks is the son of Academy Award-winning composer Joseph Brooks, who faced 82 counts of sexual assault last year. Accused of raping 11 women he lured to his apartment by promising them movie roles, the elder Brooks pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges and is free on bail. Joseph Brooks’ next court date is Dec. 21.
Soho House staff discovered Cachay’s body around 3:30 a.m., after another guest phoned the front desk to report a leaking ceiling. The police spokesman declined to provide any specifics about the crime scene. But a friend of Cachay’s, who requested anonymity, said the designer was found in an overflowing bathtub wearing a sweater and underwear. There were said to be signs of “a little trauma around her neck,” she said.
Autopsy results are expected to be released Friday afternoon, according to a spokeswoman for the New York City Chief Medical Examiner.
“It wasn’t the healthiest of relationships. He seemed unstable,” the friend said. “And there was that age difference.”
Cachay allegedly checked into the Soho House due to a fire in her West Village apartment. A New York City Fire Department spokesman said there was no record of engines being sent to her West Village address. However, an NYPD spokesman said investigators were looking into the claim of a fire.
At the time of her death, Cachay worked in design for Anne Cole swimwear. From 2006 to 2008, she ran her own swimwear label, called Syla. After losing her financial backing from a Mexican investor as a result of the financial fallout of October 2008, she shuttered her business. But Cachay remained committed to starting it back up once she found another investor, said Kate Godici, owner of Punch PR, which represented Syla.
“She was at the top of her game when she lost her financing. Sylvie was trying to get back on her feet again,” she said. “She was on staff at Anne Cole, but her baby was Syla. She always planned to go back to that.”
Raised in Virginia and Peru, Cachay studied fashion and art in Paris via Parsons The New School for Design, and then returned to the States to further her design studies at Marymount University. After graduating with a BFA, she relocated to New York and started her career by interning at Marc Jacobs. She moved on to Tommy Hilfiger, where she worked in design for juniors’ and women’s sportswear. A Tommy Hilfiger spokeswoman could not confirm that as of Thursday.
In 2002, Cachay joined Victoria’s Secret to work on the brand’s upper-end swimwear. After four years, she exited to get Syla off the ground. The Syla Web site describes the prints-driven swimwear as “earthy glamour, hippy-couture.”
Cachay’s friends were still dealing with the shock of the news Thursday night. One, Alicia Bell, who designs the Bell label, said, “No words can describe how I feel right now. I am absolutely devastated and in utter disbelief. Sylvie was a very close friend of mine and I miss her terribly. She was full of life and love and talented beyond words.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)