She was a warrior. Diem Brown, who died after a long cancer battle at age 32 on Friday, Nov. 14, made her final public appearance on Sept. 10, at Us Weekly‘s Most Stylish New Yorkers party at the Diamond Horseshoe at the Paramount Hotel, where she was honored among other celebrities like Lily Aldridge, Matt Lauer, Alan Cumming, and more.
Brown’s indomitable bravery, warmth, and joy left a lasting impact on her loved ones as well as millions of fans. Radiant on her final red carpet, the MTV Challenge star — who had collapsed while filming the show one month earlier — spoke to Us in a lighthearted chat about style, gratitude, and optimism even in the worst of circumstances.
Read the transcript from her interview with Us here, and see stunning photos of Brown on the red carpet.
US: So let’s start with what you’re wearing and why you picked it.
DB: I am wearing an ALC leather top and Isabel Marant skirt.
US: And why did you pick it?
DB: I felt like it felt a bit warrior and I’m like in a warrior mood. I’ve got the arm band. To me, fashion is all about mood, and I wanted to feel powerful and in bright colors. I know the summer’s supposed to be over, but bright colors lifts my mood.
US: I love your nails!
DB: Thank you!
US: Did you pick that color after you picked the outfit?
DB: This is the first time I’ve been out since I’ve had—at nighttime, like getting dressed up pretty, you know.
US: Well, you look amazing. How are you feeling?
DB: I’m just so excited to be out. It just feels really great and having so much support from my friends and my sister [Faith Brown], just everyone has been so awesome and I can’t express how much support really does help make you better.
US: Going back to other times, have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction?
DB: Oh, tons of times.
US: What’s one that stands out?
DB: One that stands out is that I like to alter things myself. I’m a great big safety pin person, like you’ve gotta have a couple of safety pins around.
US: It’s customized.
DB: It’s customized! And all of a sudden a safety pin pops and stabs you in the back and it’s like, “Oh, alright, I might need to go to the hospital.” It’s one of those things—fashion should always be fun and those moments are actually kind of fun.
US: And is there anything you’ve learned over the years about dressing? Or do you approach it the same way?
DB: Honestly I’ve learned don’t try super super hard to be someone you’re not. Like, I realized that I like to be girly and every time I try on something like a pant suit and try to be really edgy and different, it doesn’t work and so I realized that I’m a dress and skirts person.
US: Do you feel like there have been times that you’ve been less comfortable in your own skin? Is that something that has changed?
DB: I’ve definitely been less comfortable in my own skin before. Now I’m becoming more and more confident through everything. You kind of evolve and as you get older, you realize that most of this stuff is silly.