Legendary Designer Kate Spade Dead at 55

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Kate Brosnahan Spade, the iconic fashion designer, was found dead in her Manhattan apartment in an apparent suicide. According to New York Police Department sources, Spade hanged herself and was found by her housekeeper. Chief of Detective Dermot Shea said that a suicide note was left behind, addressing her daughter and husband.

The late designer started started her fashion label, Kate Spade New York, in 1993, and opened her first shop three years later. Kate Spade New York was best known for its colorful handbags, which can now be found across 140 retail shops and outlet stores throughout the country. However, as time went on, Mrs. Spade began to distance herself from the business. In 1999, her and her husband decided to sell 56 percent of the brand to Neiman Marcus for $33.6 million. By 2007, Liz Claiborne acquired the company, and Spade left the brand she founded for good.

During her time at the company, she designed some of the most famous pieces of fashion that are still held in high regard to this day. Starting out with the original boxy handbags, she expanded into shoes, luggage, and other accessories. She even went on to start a home line, stationary, and wrote three books. She was a highly decorated designer with multiple award from the Council of Fashion Designer. The Council posted a statement expressing their devastation of the news of her passing: “She was a great talent who had an immeasurable impact on American fashion and the way the world viewed American accessories.” Others have taken to social media to express their grief and respects to the designer.

A statement confirming the death of the Spade can be seen on the brands website. “Although 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,” the statement said. “Kate will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time.”

Spade’s suicide comes at a time where suicide rates have steadily increased from 1999 to 2014, for those between the ages of 10 and 74. This number especially applies to woman, who are diagnosed with depression more commonly than males. If you or anyone you know is battling with suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255.

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