Last week the world lost an innovative and groundbreaking fashion icon when Kate Spade committed suicide on June 5th. Kate Spade was known for her unique feminine style, having pioneered the simple and chic handbags for which she was most famous. For a girl who was born in Kansas City, Kate managed to make a significant mark on the fashion of New York City – the place where she would wind up spending most of her life. She eventually gained a reputation for her quirky-yet-cute NYC style that young women everywhere strived to emulate.
While working as an intern for Mademoiselle, a fashion magazine in Manhattan, Kate noticed that there was a serious lack of sensible handbags in the women’s fashion industry. She decided to create a handbag that looked fabulous, but was also practical for a busy woman. In 1993, she decided to launch Kate Spade New York, a line of innovative and stylish handbags for women. The Kate Spade handbag was known for being feminine, sophisticated and chic. The bag came in a simple silhouette and a wide variety of colors. Kate Spade bags were also very popular because they were not as wildly expensive as other luxury designer handbags. By the mid-90’s, every young women wanted to get their hands on one of these bags.
After the news of her death, women from all ends of the world recalled the excitement they felt when getting their first Kate Spade handbag. Many women remarked that carrying a Kate Spade bag made them feel very grown-up when they were just adolescents and teenagers. It was often seen as a “right of passage” for women and marked their transition from a young girl into a young woman. Immediately after the news of Kate’s passing, some of the biggest names in fashion, television and even politics took to Twitter to reflect on the impact that Kate Spade’s designs had on their lives.
After the success of her handbags, Kate Spade expanded her brand to include clothing, jewelry, shoes, stationery, eyewear, fragrances and more. The company opened various boutiques around the country and continued to make its mark on the world of fashion. Kate Spade New York would very rapidly go on to become one of the biggest labels in the fashion industry, and a staple in the lives of women everywhere. In 2007, Kate left the brand to spend time raising her daughter. She would return to fashion in 2016, creating a brand named after her daughter, Frances Valentine. The luxury line included handbags and footwear, with the signature simplicity and sophistication that Kate made famous many years before.
While the world mourns the loss of Kate Spade, many are left wondering why the fashion icon left us so soon. We would like to remember the beautiful work that she put out into the world and how she made so many women from all walks of life feel good about themselves. We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Kate’s friends and family, and we would like to thank Kate for spreading so much goodness and light in the world of fashion.
If you or someone you known is feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.