When I was in college, I visited New York City for what felt the millionth time. I loved New York for its energy and access to just about everything – including knock off designer bags. A broke college student, I couldn’t afford some of the finer things in life. So, I went down to Chinatown and scored myself a knock-off Kate Spade bag. It was colorful, bright, and perfectly captured “me.” I loved it and carried it proudly for months (until the poorly constructed strap broke). Years later, I bought my first REAL Kate Spade purse, and it felt like a real turning point. I felt proud, successful, stylish. I felt like I had made it.
This week, we lost Kate, but she didn’t go without leaving behind her mark on the world, her signature sparkle. Kate began her career working at a fashion magazine and later partnered with her husband, Andy, to start her own handbag line. Their venture was a huge success, and Kate Spade New York became the go-to brand for young women who wanted bags that were professional, yet beautiful. Eventually, the line expanded to include clothing, jewelry, stationary, home goods and more. Her designs were always recognizable for their whimsical aesthetic, bright colors, and ability to simply make people happy. She won countless awards for her work and was admired by her colleagues and the general public alike.
After selling Kate Spade New York in 2006, Kate took time off from work to raise her daughter, Frances Beatrix. She returned to the fashion world in 2016, launching her new line, Frances Valentine, where she continued to design pieces that were feminine and lively and made women feel confident. Kate’s unique point of view and distinct style cannot be replicated, and she will be truly missed.
If you are suffering and contemplating suicide, please know that the world is not better off with you and there is always hope for a better tomorrow. If you need someone to talk to, reach out to your loved ones or call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1(800) 273-8255.