December 24, 1962 – June 5, 2018
World-renowned American fashion designer and businesswoman Kate Spade has died according to multiple reports. Officials have confirmed Spade was found dead in her New York City apartment of an apparent suicide.
Spade was found by a housekeeper who immediately called 911 but she was pronounced dead at the scene. Spade left a note but officials have not released what it said.
Kate Spade was born as Katherine Brosnahan in Kansas City, Mo. After high school, she attended the University of Kansas before transferring to Arizona State University where she graduated in 1986 with a degree in journalism.
Upon graduating, she moved to New York and began working in the accessories department of women’s magazine, Mademoiselle. While working at Mademoiselle, Spade moved in with Andy Spade (brother of actor David Spade) who she knew from her time in Phoenix. Together, the pair were featured in the magazine as part of photoshoot documenting couples in love. Eventually, the pair would marry and have a daughter.
In 1991, Spade left Mademoiselle after reaching the role of senior fashion editor/head of accessories. It was during her time at the magazine that she began to notice a lack of stylish and sensible handbags on the market and decided to start her own line.
Alongside her partner Andy, the pair launched New York based design company, “kate spade handbags” in 1993. Although the company began by selling women’s handbags, it eventually extended to include clothing, jewelry, shoes, stationery, eyewear, baby items, fragrances, tabletop, bedding and gifts.
Spade’s company opened its first boutique shop in the SoHo district in 1996. From there, the company would go on to have over 140 retail shops domestically and over 175 stores internationally.
In 1999, Neiman Marcus Group purchased a majority stake in the brand. In 2006, Spade sold her remaining shares in the company to Neiman Marcus Group. After the company was sold several times, Coach, Inc. acquired Kate Spade for 2.4 billion dollars in 2017.
After selling her shares of the company, Spade took some time off to focus on raising her daughter Frances. In 2016, alongside several business partners, Spade launched a line of luxury footwear and handbags called Frances Valentine.
Spade received many awards and honors throughout her life including several Council of Fashion Designers of America awards as well as being named one of the Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company in 2017.
Spade leaves behind her husband Andy and daughter Frances.
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
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
Kate Spade was more than a designer. She had a quirky visual language that captivated Bat Mitzvah girls and artists alike. She was also a staple of NYC who spread good will. My heart breaks for her family. Thank you, Kate, from one of the millions you made feel beautiful.
— 💎 Lena Dunham 💎 (@lenadunham) June 5, 2018
Suicide is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. If you or someone you know is exhibiting warning signs, they should not be left alone. The U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached by calling 1-800-273-8255. This free resource provides 24/7 confidential support for people in crisis or emotional distress.
There is also an online chat for people to reach out through as well if they would rather not call by phone.
For more information on suicide prevention, please visit:
This entry was posted in Celebrity Deaths on June 5th, 2018 by ObitTree .
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