Kate Spade’s death became a shock to everybody.
Name a brand that successfully managed to be both cheerfully approachable and fashionably aspirational? Kate Spade’s handbags and her bright, smiley image come immediately to mind. Kate was the face of her collection- preppy New York girl with fun down-to-earth twinkle in her eyes.
She founded Kate Spade & Co. in 1993, using $35,000 her husband Andy Spade had in savings as initial funding.
“At the time, bags were too complicated. And I really loved very simple kind of architectural shapes,” Kate Spade remembered. She collected bags and got a lot of compliments on the ones she carried. “I would wear these very simple shapes, none of which were famous designers. If someone were to say, ‘whose is that?’ I’d say, ‘I don’t know, I bought it at a vintage store.’”
Kate and Andy Spade took their first own collection of handbags, which were priced between $100 and $400, to trade shows around New York. That venture was a success- such big names as Barneys and Fred Segal first placed orders of Kate’s designs. Her handbags immediately became popular and appeared in Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, and Saks. The series of impeccably curated shops and Kate Spade outlets did not wait to follow.
After years of success, Kate Spade stepped back from the fashion world for a decade to be with her daughter, Frances Beatrix Valentine Spade (nicknamed Bea).
Kate’s death by apparent suicide on June 5, 2018, came as a shock to many- she seemed to outsiders to be so optimistic and grounded. Her father 80-year-old Frank Brosnahan said he knew Kate Spade was having troubles and that she had been taking pills that he advised her not to take. He also said his daughter would be glad if ongoing, global talk about her death were to have a positive impact. “One thing we feel is that any talk that they do that helps somebody else, Katy would have liked that,” he said. “She was always giving and charitable. If that helped anybody avoid anything -fine, she’d be delighted.”
Source: Town & Country