Iconic fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead earlier today in an apparent suicide in her New York City apartment. She was 55 years old.
According to CNN, Spade was found by a maid after hanging herself from a door with a scarf. A note has been found, its contents have not been disclosed.
Kate Spade began her career in fashion in the '90s as an accessories editor for Mademoiselle. She launched her own line in 1993 that began with handbags with her husband in their apartment.
She sold her namesake company that grew to make shoes, handbags, clothing and home decor in 2007 to Neiman Marcus Group for $125 million to focus on raising her daughter.
Today, Kate Spade New York has over 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the United States and over 175 stores worldwide.
In 2016, to separate herself from her previous brand, she changed her name to Katherine Noel Frances Valentine Brosnahan and launched the line, Frances Valentine after her daughter and another family member. The new line focused on luxury footwear and handbags.
The award-winner designer was inducted into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri, Kansas City in 2017. The same year Fast Company named her one of the Most Creative People in Business.
Kate Spade was, to many, more than just a brand, but also a part of their lives. Kate and her brand have brought happiness to those were fortunate to know her or simply carry and wear her designs.
Thoughts and memories of Kate are being shared on social media as the shock of her sudden death hits hard.
My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kate’s family, friends and loved ones in my heart.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) June 5, 2018
I am so sad about Kate Spade. I know to a lot of people bags are bags, but her purses have brought me so much joy (I call my typewriter bag a therapy bag because people like to pet it and smile).
I hope she knows how happy she made complete strangers. Much peace, Kate. pic.twitter.com/I0sLbLsinp
— Alisha Rai (@AlishaRai) June 5, 2018
Kate Spade was more than a designer. She had a quirky visual language that captivated Bat Mitzvah girls and artists alike. She was also a staple of NYC who spread good will. My heart breaks for her family. Thank you, Kate, from one of the millions you made feel beautiful.
— ? Lena Dunham ? (@lenadunham) June 5, 2018
Kate Spade represented so much to the women who grew up with her — like growing into the adulthood, but maintaining a sense of girlishness and with an eye for playfulness.
— Jessica Wakeman (@JessicaWakeman) June 5, 2018
The message that suicide is classless, ageless, genderless, colorless resonates today as well.
Depression does not discriminate and comes without warning. RIP Kate Spade. Love to her family.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
— josh groban (@joshgroban) June 5, 2018
The terribly sad news of Kate Spade passing should stand as a reminder to us all that the image of perfection is just that...an image. RIP Kate, thank you for all of the loveliness you brought into the world, you will be missed.
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) June 5, 2018
My heart hurts hearing about Kate Spade. Such a creative and inspiring woman. Please remember you are never alone, no matter how lonely you may feel in the moment.
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
— Andrea Russett (@AndreaRussett) June 5, 2018
Spade is survived by husband Andy, and 13-year-old daughter Frances Beatrix Spade.
If you or a loved one are struggling emotionally or if you are supporting someone through a difficult time help is available.
Please call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.