Tributes to 'elegantly charming' former Elle editor Sally Brampton found dead after life-long battle with depression

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Tributes have been paid to the launch editor of British Elle magazine, Daily Mail columnist and author Sally Brampton, who famously battled depression, after she was found dead in the sea.

Brampton, who was 30 when she led the launch of the popular women’s fashion magazine in 1985, was hailed as a “kick-ass boss” by its current editor-in-chief Lorraine Candy.

“Smart, tough and stylish, Sally was also elegantly charming. She was a gentlewoman in the truest sense of the word,” wrote Candy on the magazine’s website. “Her legacy is a spirited brand that is as relevant today as it was 31 years ago because there are so many ‘Sallys’ out there.”

The Times has reported that Brampton, 60, “killed herself by walking into the sea” however Sussex Police has since said that “there are no witnesses who have come forward to confirm this fact”.

A police spokesman said Brampton’s body was spotted in the water off Galley Hill, Bexhill, at about 2.30pm on Tuesday and was pulled ashore by a member of the public. He said an air ambulance landed on the beach but Brampton, of Stanhope Place, St Leonards-on-Sea, was declared dead at the scene. There are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.

The daughter of a Shell oil executive, Brampton, 60, was a student of fashion at Central St Martins College of Art and Design. She took on the role of fashion editor at the Observer in the early 1980s and later became editor of lifestyle magazine Red and an advice columnist for the Daily Mail.

In 2008 her memoir about depression titled Shoot The Damn Dog was printed by Harry Potter publishers Bloomsbury Publishing.

Susan Ward Davies, who worked with Brampton on the launch of British Elle, remembered her as a “dynamic and very inspiring leader”.

She said: “Looking back, the Elle girl that Sally invented was such an optimistic role model, such an aspirational character and such a free spirit that you could never imagine the person who created her could have been afflicted with depression.”

In the Guardian, fellow East Sussex resident and former The Face magazine fashion editor Kathryn Flett said of Brampton’s editorship of British Elle: “Coming fresh from a newspaper, her particular journalistic brand of fashion writing was the proverbial fresh air in mainstream magazines at that time.”

She added: “Brampton knew her fashion history and the industry – the designers and photographers, stylists and writers – adored her for it; she was the queen of context, combining her own bluestocking sensibility with her sense of fun.”

Brampton married and divorced former BBC1 controller Jonathan Powell, with whom she had a daughter, Molly, 23.

Anyone with information about Brampton’s final movements is asked to email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101 quoting serial 893 of 10/05.

Picture: Posted by Brampton on Twitter in 2014 when she was writing for Top Sante about depression.

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