I don’t cry very often but the news of Kate Spade’s death, especially by suicide, has been just heartbreaking.
NEW YORK (AP) — Kate Spade, a fashion designer known for her sleek handbags, was found hanged in her Park Avenue apartment Tuesday in an apparent suicide, law enforcement officials said.
Kate Spade at the 2011 VH1 Vogue Fashion Show Birthday — Cropped Photo: ZUMA Press
The 55-year-old left a note at the scene and was found by housekeeping at about 10:20 a.m. It’s not clear how long she had been dead. The medical examiner will perform an autopsy.
The officials said she was found with a red scarf around her neck attached to a doorknob. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The company she founded, Kate Spade New York, now has over 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the U.S. and more than 175 shops internationally.
A company representative did not immediately respond to phone and e-mail requests.
Spade, who was an accessories editor at Mademoiselle magazine, launched her company with husband Andy in their apartment in 1993. She started the company based on six shapes of bags that she thought every working woman needed. It created a smash.
“I grew up in the Midwest, where you have to have it (a fashion item) because you like it, not because you’re supposed to have it,” the Kansas City, Mo., native told The Associated Press in 2004. “For our customers, fashion is in the right place in their life. It’s an adornment, not an obsession.”
From the original boxy handbags, she expanded into shoes, luggage and other accessories, as well as a home line, stationery, and three books. Spade won multiple awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and was named a “giant of design” by House Beautiful magazine.
“As an accessory, a great bag that takes the outfit somewhere else is interesting,” she told the AP in a 2000 interview.
She walked away from the company in 2007, a year after it was acquired from the Neiman Marcus Group for $125 million by the company then known as Liz Claiborne Inc.
Coach, now known as Tapestry, bought the Kate Spade brand last year for $2.4 billion, seeking to broaden its appeal.
Meanwhile, Spade and her husband started a new handbag company a few years ago, Frances Valentine. And she changed her name to Katherine Noel Frances Valentine Brosnahan Spade, she said in an NPR interview this year.
In addition to her husband, Spade is survived by a daughter, born in 2005.
Originally posted onKTUU.com
I do not know nor will anyone as to what drove her to take her own life, that’s a questions that will never be answered but my heart is breaking for her family. What they are going through and what they will go through is akin to being swallowed into a black hole with no end in site.
There will be hundreds if not yet thousands articles about her death and suicide in general but I implore you to reach out to that person in your life, the one having a hard time. Reach out again and again and again. Not by text or email; call them, go their house and listen. This isn’t about you and I can honestly say that you have no idea the pain that is inside them and what they need right now is a human connection, someone that will be there for them.
If you need help, here is a complete list of numbers and websites to reach out to.