The iconic American handbag designer Kate Spade was found dead in her New York apartment earlier today. According to Associated Press, Spade, who was recently referred to as Valentine, took her own life. She was found by her housekeeper in the Park Avenue home.
Kate and her husband Andy Spade founded their fashion company in 1993. The innovative designer brought a whole revolution in the fashion world during the 90s’. She is the first one who managed to escape the strong European influence in design and started new trends that soon became recognizable as Kate Spade. It all began with vibrant nylon bags that everyone was hooked on. The couple first launched a line of handbags and slowly expanded into shoes, accessories, eyewear, fragrances, and clothing.
Kate’s career started out as an accessory editor in Mademoiselle and Vogue. The designer couldn’t imagine doing that job for the rest of her life, so she constantly looked for creative ways to express her love towards fashion. Her husband Andy had an idea they should establish their own company, and his experience in advertising was extremely helpful. Soon after the launch, Kate Spade became one of the top trending labels at that time. They focused on delivering affordable playful and colorful designs.
“It’s funny. You know, Andy and I were talking one night. And I just said — I was looking ahead and I saw the fashion directors. That would be your next jump from being a senior fashion editor. And I thought I don’t really see myself wanting that job. So Andy and I were out, honestly, at a Mexican restaurant. And he just said, what about handbags? And I said, honey, you just don’t start a handbag company. And he said, why not? How hard can it be? (Laughter) I thought, OK, really? He regrets those words.”- Kate explained the beginnings of her empire in one of her last interviews for “How I Built This”.
Kate and Andy sold 56 percent of her stakes to the Neiman Marcus Group for $34 million in 1999. The duo decided to sell the remaining 44 percent to the same buyer in 2006, for a reported sum of $59 million. By the end of the year, Neiman Marcus sold the company to Liz Claiborne (now Fifth & Pacific) for $124 million. Kate Spade was recently acquired by Tapestry Inc. for incredible $2.4 billion. In 2015, the couple founded a handbag brand called Frances Valentine named after their daughter. The significance of Kate Spade in the fashion industry is beyond words. Her legacy is so strong that will be remembered for many years to come.