Remembering Kate Spade, Iconic NYC Designer

Erin Fitzpatrick

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Update, June 8:  Following the death of iconic designer Kate Spade, her husband and business partner Andy Spade has just released a heartwarming statement paying tribute to the amazing wife and mother. 

“Kate was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the kindest person I’ve ever known and my best friend for 35 years. My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her. We are deeply heartbroken and miss her already.

Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives. We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.

For the past 10 months we had been living separately, but within a few blocks of each other. Bea was living with both of us and we saw each other or spoke every day. We ate many meals together as a family and continued to vacation together as a family. Our daughter was our priority. We were not legally separated, and never even discussed divorce. We were best friends trying to work through our problems in the best way we knew how. We were together for 35 years. We loved each other very much and simply needed a break.

This is the truth. Anything else that is out there right now is false. She was actively seeking help for depression and anxiety over the last 5 years, seeing a doctor on a regular basis and taking medication for both depression and anxiety. There was no substance or alcohol abuse. There were no business problems. We loved creating our businesses together. We were co-parenting our beautiful daughter. I have yet to see any note left behind and am appalled that a private message to my daughter has been so heartlessly shared with the media.

My main concern is Bea and protecting her privacy as she deals with the unimaginable grief of losing her mother. Kate loved Bea so very much.”


Originally published on June 6: Designer Kate Spade has died in an apparent suicide at the age of 55, per AP News. Kate and her husband, Andy Spade, launched her iconic brand in 1993, and many of her bags went on to achieve cult status. She parted ways with her namesake brand in 2007 and went on to create a new brand called Frances Valentine.

The New York Times aptly describes her career: "Kate Spade, one of the first of a powerful wave of female American contemporary designers in the 1990s, built a brand on the appeal of clothes and accessories that made women smile," the newspaper wrote. "Her cheerful non-restraint struck a chord with consumers, as did her bright prints." Scroll down to take a look back at her life and career.

If you or someone you know has personal difficulties, contact BeyondBlue or call Lifeline on 13 11 14. 

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