KATE SPADE, FASHION ICON

By now, most are aware of the untimely passing of Kate Brosnahan Spade, more notably known as the co-founder of Kate Spade New York, who died on June 5, 2018 at the age of 55 of an apparent suicide.

Since the shocking news broke, there has been an outpouring of admiration and respect for the designer throughout social media from her fans and other public figures such as Chelsea Clinton, Maria Shriver, Lena Dunham, and Mindy Kaling, to name a few. The designer’s tragic death has also placed the ongoing issue of mental health and suicide front and center.

 

The passing of this iconic designer and entrepreneurial giant has sent shockwaves through many of us, most of whom have never known the designer personally. Kate Spade is a name which has become synonymous with colorful and whimsical designs. The brand is immediately recognizable and is a staple around the globe in department and homeware stores, even luxury airport shops.

Many of her fans can remember clearly when they bought their first Kate Spade handbag or the special occasion where one was given to them. This tragedy is so deeply personal to so many of us because her designs and her name has been with us through many of the milestones in our own lives. One can’t help but to feel that it should not have ended this way and that there was so much more for us to see from this brilliant designer and entrepreneur.

Kate Spade New York, which the designer co-founded with her husband Andy in 1993, was built from the ground up. While it struggled in its infancy, the company eventually gained a following and evolved into a global lifestyle brand. The Spades later sold their shares in 2006 but the company continued to thrive after a number of acquisitions. Following a decade long hiatus, Spade and her husband returned to the fashion industry in 2016 with the launch of their new brand, Frances Valentine, a collection of luxury shoes and handbags named after their daughter.

Whether you were a fan or not, the impact Spade has had on the fashion and business industries and on the general public is undeniable. Spade was an artist, a visionary, and will be remembered for all of the moments the pieces bearing her name were interwoven into so many of our daily lives.