RIP Kate Spade

American Icon and Designer Kate Spade found dead at age 55.

Kate Spade was found dead this morning.

According to The New York Times, the police said that Ms. Spade, 55, was discovered unresponsive at a Park Avenue apartment. She had left a note, but the official did not comment on what it said. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:26 a.m.

I’m devastated. Her designs made so many women feel their most confident and classic. There are very few designers who understand what modern women need and want—Kate was able to do that.

Kate Spade was one of the first female American contemporary designers in the 1990s, who built a brand on the appeal of clothes and accessories that made women smile. Known for her aesthetic, with her proto-1960s bouffant, nerd glasses and kooky grin, she designed a wide range of colorful dresses, handbags and jewelry–all with a touch of humor.  Kate Spade was decidedly modern, built on living colorfully, and with whimsy.

Kate hadn’t been involved with Kate Spade New York in years, but as the founder of the brand (along with her husband, Andy), she certainly made her mark on the fashion world and dressed millions of women in her preppy-with-attitude clothes, handbags, and jewelry.

Kate Spade handbags were distinctive for their modern look, pops of color and utilitarian shapes, and often, “sassy but classy”.

One of my own Kate Spade bags:

Kate Spade Quilted Flap Bag

Kate’s suicide–a tragic loss–serves as reminder that depression doesn’t discriminate based on success and worth. It doesn’t matter how much money or fame we have (or don’t) or how happy we look.

I hope Kate’s spirit is at peace and rest now. My condolences to the loved ones she left behind.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to for a list of additional resources.

By Becca Risa Luna

Seattle-based fashion writer and personal essayist. Likes designer handbags, glaring openness, and subtle vulgarity.

2 replies on “RIP Kate Spade”

[…] Kate Spade just debuted the brand new Spring 2019 Preview Capsule Collection by Nicola Glass’s. This collection is the first accessories collection by new Creative Director Nicola Glass, featuring with two new handbag shapes and a whole new design motif inspired by the spade. This is the first collection by Nicola Glass since the brand’s founder Kate Spade passed away in June 2018. […]

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