On June 5, 2018, many were crushed by the news of designer Kate Spade’s untimely death. The woman who was responsible for creating a functional handbag that married sophistication and style effortlessly, filling a void in her personal collection, will now leave a void in ours – a piece that will forever be missing from the fashion industry, and the world.
Her eponymous line launched in 1993 to rave reviews, leading to her first brick and mortar opening in Soho in 1996. Success did not stop there, the Kate Spade brand became an internationally known label, with recognition from A-list celebrities such as Kate Middleton, Maila Obama, and Taylor Swift, as well as over 200 retail stores in over 12 countries. Though Kate left the brand over a decade ago, the company stood true to her vision, a vision that rang true through her iconic prints, collaboration (The Minnie Mouse Collection was everything), and out of the box ideas.
Spade was known for taking chances, even admitting that in the early days of the brand she thought she should just shut the company down, we’re glad she carried on. Kate achieved accolades for her designs from the prestigious CFDA awards, and even more important received praise from her peers with extreme esteem. Fashion icons such as Anna Wintour realized what a gift she had, to the outpouring of support for Kate’s family from celebrities such as Chelsea Clinton, noting how the iconic brand had a special meaning to her, and it did to many.
For myself, I always looked at the Kate Spade brand as my first introduction to fashion. A simple, yet gorgeous handbag that allowed me to look stylish while still being able to hold my books for school. From there, it began a gift for my mother, for my friends, and beyond. Her pieces are quality and timeless, much like herself.
We will all truly miss this designer, philanthropist, businesswoman, editor, mother, wife, daughter, friend.
One truly doesn’t understand the day to day dealings of those in the spotlight, and one never will. We must only take this as a precautionary tale, to always keep an eye out for our friends, and those around us. Take a moment to smile at a stranger, curb that attitude when getting on the train, hold the door for that person; because you never do know what that person is going through and always provide a shoulder or an ear.
Always know that you’re not alone. Please reach out for help, it’s never too late.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Photo by Wendy Maeda /The Boston Globe via Getty Images