Kate Spade hanged herself with a scarf in her Park Avenue home on Tuesday morning, BBC reported. The 55-year-old designer left a heartbreaking suicide note addressed to her teenage daughter.
The American designer was found by her housekeeper who had arrived at the Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan to find Kate “unresponsive”, a law enforcement official said. In her suicide note, Kate wrote: ‘I have always loved you’, these words Spade addressed to her teenage daughter. The world of fashion has been paying tribute to Spade’s work.
The reason for leaving this world lies in Kate’s mental disease, believes her older sister Reta Saffo. Now, she has opened up about her sister’s battle with mental illness. In 2014, Spade fixated on beloved comic actor Robin Williams’ hanging suicide, and how she’s refused to seek medical treatment, concerned it could damage the Spade brand.
Kate Spade’s husband Andy had urged her on multiple occasions to go for treatment, including to the same treatment program where Catherine Zeta-Jones went for her successful bipolar treatment, but she’d always ‘chickened out’ at the last moment. Kate didn’t want to hurt her brand and didn’t want people to know about her disorder despite she sold her namesake brand in 2007. Another designer Coach bought it in 2018 a deal worth $2.4bn.
Kate Spade brand’s history
Kate Spade Handbags has become a byword for a certain preppy style, her brand stated aim was to design the perfect handbag and opened its first store in New York in 1996, and now has more than 300 branches worldwide.
It is recognisable for its distinctive logo which features the spades playing card symbol, in reference to the designer’s surname. The company’s bright and colourful patterned designs became a trademark of its products.
In 2007, Spade sold her namesake brand, ten years after, the mark was bought by Coach in a deal worth $2.4bn.
She and her husband then set up another design venture, Frances Valentine, named after their daughter. Kate Spade legally changed her name to Kate Valentine (Valentine was her grandfather’s middle name) in 2016 to “separate the two worlds”.