Goodbye Kate Spade
Kate Spade Early 2000's Ad Photo Via Google
This morning I got a text from my best friend saying, "Did you see about Kate spade?!!?!" I quickly responded with a, "No what?!" thinking there had been some huge controversy with the brand, not even giving thought to the designer herself. When the text buzzed in with "She hung herself!," my mouth dropped both literally and textually with the open mouth emoji. In less than a second I opened Twitter, the app I go to for my daily news (wow I'm such a millennial), and saw the headline "Designer Kate Spade found dead in her New York home." I couldn't even fathom the sentence I was reading. Just last year I had been listening to her and her husband Andy on NPR's podcast, How I Built This, and today that bubbly, funny, and insanely creative woman was no longer. (Btw, that Kate Spade episode of How I Built This is still one of my favorites and I highly recommend you give it a listen.)
Kate Spade was probably the first designer I ever learned or cared about as a kid and I remember dreaming about owning one of her handbags or wallets when I grew up. With the invention of the iPhone, I remember picking out my first Kate Spade product, a phone case, and being so excited to show off the fun polka dot print. I perused their site religiously and always scoped out the offerings they had at Nordstrom Rack or Marshalls with my girlfriends (because I couldn't afford a full price style with my babysitting money). Kate Spade was a brand that literally every girl knew of...seriously try and think of someone you know who hasn't heard of it. The brand was fun and a bit wild with a classic foundation. It was a entry level designer for the middle class that made you feel real fancy. And because of that the brand grew a loyal following. In just hours of the report of her passing, countless bloggers and thousands of women shared that Kate Spade was their very first designer purchase and they've cherished their bags since day one. Kate Spade truly transformed the accessories industry forever and we can all be grateful for her because of that. While Kate and Andy sold and completely left the brand in 2006 (for a combined total of $95 million, might I add) the brand still flowed seamlessly with Kate's quirky but sophisticated style maintaining it's reputation to this day. After leaving the brand to focus on raising her daughter Frances, Kate and Andy opened the shoe and handbag brand Frances Valentine, named for her daughter, in 2016. You can find classic but cool styles on their website and I'm sure they are seeing a huge influx in orders after today's news. My heart and many other's are going out to the Spade family, especially to her 13-year old daughter Frances Beatrix. As someone whose family has also been personally effected by suicide I plead with you to always be checking in with your loved ones and we can learn first hand from Kate that no amount of money can buy happiness.
If you or Someone You know is considering suicide, please contact the national Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-Talk (8255)