Kate Spade: 5 Things To Know About The Late, Iconic Fashion Designer

Kate Spade tragically passed away on June 5, but her legacy will live on. Learn more about the legendary fashion designer and her incredible life, here.

1. She founded Kate Spade New York in 1993. Kate Spade and her soon-to-be husband, Andy Spade, started her now-iconic company, Kate Spade New York, in the early ’90s. The fashion label always boasted cheery, bright designs and patterns aimed at making its customers smiled, and its beautiful bags were soon status symbols. In 1996 the Spades opened up a shop in NYC’s SoHo area; there are now hundreds of Kate Spade stores worldwide. The Spades actually sold the company to Neiman Marcus in 2006, but kept Kate as the face of the brand. They left in 2007, and in 2017 it was sold to Coach.

2. She was found dead of apparent suicide on June 5. Kate was only 55 years old when she died. The designer was found in her Upper East Side, NYC apartment by her housekeeper around 10:20am ET, according to police sources, and declared dead on the scene. She reportedly hanged herself with a red scarf on a doorknob, and left a note. The details of the note were not disclosed. Other details were scarce in the immediate aftermath of her apparent suicide.

3. She currently ran the designer label Frances Valentine. The new label was named after her 13-year-old daughter, as well two of her own middle names. Kate, her husband, and two friends launched the brand in 2016. She said in interviews that she was so devoted to it that she was changing her surname from “Spade” to “Valentine”.

4. Kate Spade is a go-to favorite brand for tons of celebrities. Everyone from Kerry Washington to Kate Middleton loves Kate Spade. Other celebrity customers: Pippa Middleton, Lucy Hale, Ellie Kemper, Lea Michele, Olivia Culpo, and Gabrielle Union.

5. She had two famous relatives. Kate’s brother-in-law was actor and comedian David Spade. Her niece was The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and House of Cards star Rachel Brosnahan.

If you or someone you love are contemplating suicide, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. 

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