Rest in peace, Kate Spade. The iconic fashion designer died of an apparent suicide at age 55 inside her Park Avenue NYC apartment on Tuesday, June 5. TMZ was the first outlet to report the sad news with The New York Times later confirming her death through local police officials.
Later on Tuesday, the Kate Spade New York brand’s official Instagram account posted a heartfelt message about Kate’s death. “Kate Spade, the visionary founder of our brand, has passed. Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly heartbreaking time. We honor all the beauty she brought to this world,” the message read.
Following Kate’s passing, law enforcement sources also divulged the heartbreaking details of the designer’s suicide note to TMZ. According to the outlet, Kate penned a letter to her 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade, with husband Andy Spade, 55, with the following text: “Bea — I have always loved you. This is not your fault. Ask Daddy!”
Kate was born Katherine Noel Brosnahan on Dec. 24, 1962, in Kansas City, MO. She attended the University of Kansas before later transferring to Arizona State University where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and graduated with a degree in journalism in 1985.
After graduating from college, Kate moved to NYC to work in the accessories department of Mademoiselle magazine. While living in the Big Apple, she met Andy Spade — the brother of actor and comedian David Spade — and the two later launched the Kate Spade New York design company in 1993 and began selling women’s handbags.
Kate and Andy married in 1994 and the couple are parents to one child, a 13-year-old daughter named Frances Beatrix Spade. Today, the Kate Spade brand includes handbags, clothing, jewelry, shoes, stationery, eyewear, baby items, fragrances, tabletop, bedding, and gifts and has stores around the world.
In 2006, Kate sold her last shares of the Kate Spade company and in May 2017, Coach, Inc. bought the brand for $2.4 billion. At the time of her death, Kate was the co-founder and designer of Frances Valentine, a handbag and footwear line that she launched in 2016 and named after her daughter.
Following her passing, many of Kate’s fans around the world took to social media to express their sadness at her sudden death. “In shock. Kate Spade, your designs adn vision were both classy and timeless. Heaven gained its most fashionable angel yet,” @baytothelynn wrote on Twitter. User @caaptainmorgan6 similarly wrote, “RIP Kate Spade, a fashionista and timeless icon. Paying for her family and friends.” Our thoughts are with Kate’s loved ones during this tragic time.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.