Kate Spade’s Frances Valentine Label is Selling Out of Stock
After the tragic news that Kate Spade had hanged herself in her Upper East Side home yesterday, handbag fans desperate to own a piece of the designer’s legacy have flocked to the website of Frances Valentine, Spade’s most recent accessories venture, to purchase the label’s colourful, preppy handbags.
As of Wednesday afternoon, every single handbag on the Frances Valentine website has sold out. However, shoes are still in stock.
Purchasing mementoes of a recently deceased designer is perhaps a ghoulish way of remembering their legacy, but also a fitting tribute. The world remembers Kate Spade primarily because of the colourful, whimsical handbags she brought into the world, and to own a handbag designed by her is an important way of investing in her story.
Spade launched Frances Valentine, named after her daughter, in 2015. Though the label was conceived by a veritable handbag mogul and household name, Frances Valentine never quite managed to achieve the same level of success as Kate Spade New York. When Spade departed her namesake label in 2007 after the company was acquired by Liz Claiborne for $125 million, she relinquished the right to use her name for any commercial purposes. As a result, Spade had changed her name to “Katherine Noel Frances Valentine” in 2015 and was going by the name Kate Valentine at the time of her death.
Spade’s older sister, Reta Brosnahan Saffo, told the Kansas City Star newspaper that her sister’s death was “not unexpected” and that Spade had been afraid of seeking help for her mental health issues in fear of how it might affect the image of her “happy-go-lucky” brand. Spade’s family has fired back in a statement to PEOPLE magazine, claiming that Saffo has been estranged from the family for 10 years and that “her statements paint a picture of someone who didn’t know her at all.”