Collectors of trendy handbags might be more likely talking about what brands like Louis Vuitton would be bringing out next from their designers, but back in the 1990s there was another name that was on the mouths of many girls and women of the time: Kate Spade. One might say that her bags, the brainchild of her fashion housed based in New York, became something of a symbol for the city in that decade. Unfortunately the founder and visionary came to a sad end Tuesday this week, when she was found hanging lifeless in her apartment, a victim of depression.
By now it is confirmed by police investigators that fashion designer Kate Spade died of suicide by hanging on June 5. The New York Times sheds further light on this development, with the revelation by Spade’s husband Andy, revealing on Wednesday that she had been suffering from bouts of depression. Moreover, the two of them have been living separately for 10 months almost to a year before her tragic death. However Andy Spade, also Kate’s business partner who helped her in turning her fashion house into a major brand, clarified that despite their arrangements they did not talk about divorcing.
The story of Kate Spade once again highlights the treacherous nature of clinical depression, in that oftentimes, a person who admits to suffering from it, but is apparently handling oneself well, will suddenly be discovered to have taken his life. Andy Spade has noted this saying, “We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this.” He adds that the greater part of Kate’s struggle with depression came when she was 49 years old, but she actively corresponded with her doctors to monitor her condition.
A great outpouring of condolences for Kate Spade came from many quarters, be it from her brother-in-law, actor David Spade who posted a Christmas photo of himself and Kate as told by CNN, or from a Canadian woman who, according to the New York Post was moved to write an open letter to the late designer, talking about how she and her then-age 5 daughter shopped at a Kate Spade shop in Florida, and how her child chose not a handbag but a pair of fluffy earmuffs to bring home.
Andy and Kate Spade were married 24 years. They started two fashion brands, Kate Spade New York in 1993 and then Frances Valentine in 2016.
Photo courtesy of NBC News