Designer Kate Spade Dead at 55
Kate Spade, of the sparkly iPhone cases and metallic ballet flats, has died. She was found in her Upper East Side home in Manhattan Tuesday morning, and the cause of death has been reported as suicide.
Her death is currently under investigation and we will update this story as more details become available.
Kate Spade began her career as a fashion editor at Mademoiselle magazine and prototyped her first handbag in 1992 out of construction paper. She launched her accessories line in 1993, with the help of then boyfriend, now husband Andy Spade. (Who also happens to be the brother of David Spade.) The legendary square ‘Sam’ handbag quickly became a best-seller and one of the ‘it bags’ of the 1990s. Within a decade, the Spades sold 56% of their handbag business to Neiman Marcus for $33.6 million. Currently, Kate Spade is owned by Tapestry, the parent company of Coach who bought the brand last year in a $2.4 billion deal.
Spade was known for her kooky heiress style, which was often reflected in her approach to designing accessories. A 2003 profile in Fortune magazine describes Kate as wearing “clunky vintage costume jewelry with a boxy fuchsia jacket” and looking like “Audrey Hepburn’s best friend.”
Often pink and often sparkly, Kate Spade accessories contain a sort of boundless optimism. They present a winking take on femininity that manages to be traditional and irreverent at the same time. More than anything, Kate Spade accessories are known as fun.
Her death comes as an absolute shock to the fashion industry and her presence will be dearly missed.
My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kate’s family, friends and loved ones in my heart.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) June 5, 2018
The news about Kate Spade is heartbreaking. Depression doesn’t care about success.
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) June 5, 2018
Kate Spade will be incredibly missed. Thank you for the endless inspiration 🌹 pic.twitter.com/I5V6cjkocR
— Sarah Washington (@SarAnneW) June 5, 2018
Very saddened to hear about the passing of Kate Spade. Mental illness does not discriminate and can happen to anyone with any circumstances. I hope she has found peace ❤️
— Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) June 5, 2018
My heart hurts hearing about Kate Spade. Such a creative and inspiring woman. Please remember you are never alone, no matter how lonely you may feel in the moment.
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
— Andrea Russett (@AndreaRussett) June 5, 2018
I am really sad re: Kate Spade, and I hope that if anything comes out of this, it will be people who have felt like their lives are too Objectively Good to reach out for help with depression will reassess that. No one can out-earn or out-being-loved their mental illness.
— Nicole Cliffe (@Nicole_Cliffe) June 5, 2018