VIENNA, Va. (WUSA) -- Grief-stricken friends and family today celebrated the life of the 33-year-old Sylvie Cachay, the celebrity fashion designer from McLean who was police say was murdered last week in New York.
On a cold, blustery day outside a funeral home here, scores of mourners gathered to remember a the life of a young woman who succeeded in the rarified world on New York fashion design.
"I think it's a horrible tragedy," says friend Axel Barrocas. "I knew Sylvie since she was 12 years old. She had a very bright future in front of her. And it's a terrible end."
Police have arrested Sylvie Cachay's boyfriend of just five months and charged him with strangling her.
Staff at the posh Soho House hotel found her dead, half-clothed in a overflowing bathtub with bruises around her neck and a bite mark on her ear. Nicholas Brooks is the son of Academy Award winning director and songwriter Joseph Brooks, who's accused of multiple unrelated sexual assaults.
"My heart is so broken," her mother Sylvia Panzino Cachay said on Friday. "My life is so destroyed that I cannot think. I cannot think. I want justice done, but nothing will bring back my daughter. Nothing will bring back my daughter."
Friends and family are focused now on a life that had been filled with joy. Her mother remembers remarkable designs when Sylvie Cachay was just three. She went to Madiera School and Marymount University. She designed for Marc Jacobs, Anne Cole and Tommy Hilfiger, and brought out her own line of swimwear.
Police suspect Brooks simply couldn't accept that Cachay wanted to end their relationship.
Sylvie Cachay had started a foundation to help young designers less fortunate than her. Her mother promises to continue the work in her honor.
Written by Bruce Leshan
9News Now & wusa9.com