Tuesday, 5 June 2018

American Fashion Designer, 55, Is Found Dead At Her Manhattan Apartment In Suspected Suicide

Kate Spade found dead in her Park Avenue apartment of apparent suicide 
The popular designer, who shot to fame with her line of eponymous purses, is believed to have committed suicide. Spade, 55, left a note before taking her own life by hanging and was discovered by her housekeeper. She is survived by her husband Andy (pictured left), who is the brother of actor David Spade (right), and her 13-year-old daughter Frances. Kate was also the aunt of Rachel Brosnahan, the star of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. Her husband was at the apartment when his wife took her own life, according to police.

She is survived by her husband Andy, who is the brother of actor David Spade, and her 13-year-old daughter Frances. Kate was also the aunt of Rachel Brosnahan, the star of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

Her husband was at the apartment when his wife took her own life according to police.

The couple purchased the nine-room apartment in 1999 for $2.675 million, and also owned a vineyard in Nappa.

American icon: Kate Spade was found dead at the age of 55 in her Park Avenue apartment on Tuesday (Spade above in 2004)
Kate and her husband launched their design line back in 1993, starting at first with just handbags before expanding to clothes and other accessories.

Three years in the couple was able to open their first store, and for the next decade continue to grow the company.

She has launched international and home lines by 2004, having by that point sold off most of her company.

Neiman Marcus purchased 56 percent of the company in 1999 and the remaining 44 percent by 2006, at which time Kate left the business to raise her daughter.

Andy continued to work with brands including Target, J.Crew and Warby Parker.

By 2006, the company was valued at $125 million, and Kate left for good the following year after Neiman sold Kate Spade & Co to Liz Claiborne that same year.

In the decade since she sold her ownership Kate Spade has continued to grow, and in 2017 the brand was purchased by coach for an astonishing $2.4 billion.

Kate had just recently tried to reenter the fashion world with the launch of Frances Valentine, a line of luxury handbags and shoes.

The couple took no investors and focused on slowly rolling out the brand in select markets.

In an interview with WWD in 2015, she discussed how she came to name the brand, stating: 'My grandfather, father, brother, and my daughter's name is Frances. And then Valentine was my mom's dad's middle name because he was born on Valentine's Day.'

The line was sold at Nordstrom, Saks and Bloomingdales. 

She was twice honoured by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1996 as an emerging accessories designer to watch and again in 1998 as the best accessories designer of the year.

That same group held its annual gala and awards show on Monday in Brooklyn, which Spade did not attend. 

In a statement released shortly after her death, CFDA heads Steven Kolb and Diane von Furstenberg said: 'The CFDA is devastated to hear the news of our friend, colleague, and CFDA member Kate Spade’s tragic passing. She was a great talent who had an immeasurable impact on American fashion and the way the world viewed American accessories.

'We want to honor her life and her major contribution to the fashion business and express our most sincere condolences to the family.'
Scene: The designer left a note before taking her own life by hanging and was discovered by her housekeeper just after 10am (exterior of her apartment building above)

She was born Kate Brosnahan in Kanasas City, where she attended an all-girls sc hool before heading off to college at the Univeristy of Kansas.
Kate decided to transfer to Arizona State University and study journalism, which is where she met her husband.
She graduated in 1985 and spent the next six years working for Mademoiselle in New York City, eventually landing herself the role of senior fashion editor.
In 1991 she left the magazine and decided to go out on her own with a line of purses, believing there was a gap in the market she could fill.
A year after launching the company, Kate and Andy were married. 
By 1998, Kate had one of the most successful brands in fashion, and a year later Neiman Marcus purchased a controlling share of the company, valued then at $23 million. 
It was that  same year that the two bought their Park Avenue palazzo, just a few blocks from Central Park and the Met.
They also purchased a home on Main Street in Southampton in 1996 for $218,500 according to property records. 
Her eponymous company also released a statement on Tuesday, saying: 'Kate has not been affiliated with the brand for more than a decade, she and her husband and creative partner, Andy, were the founders of our beloved brand. Kate will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time.'
In a 2016 interview with Wall Street Journal, Kate spoke about how even though she had returned to the world of fashion her daughter was still her priority.   
'I kind of thought taking that time off was unbelievably amazing,' she said of her decade-long absence . 
'I thought it was, like, a gift. I really did.'
Once back at work, it was including her only child that made work a delight for Kate, and she described her excitement at getting to go to the studio with Frances on the weekends. 
If you or anyone you know needs to talk, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 

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