The 55-year-old  Kate Spade who shot to fame with her line of eponymous purses, is believed to have committed suicide by hanging at her home.

katespade 111649019 Police: Designer Kate Spade Found Dead In Manhattan Apartment In Apparent Suicide

Designer Kate Spade was found dead in her Manhattan apartment on Tuesday following an apparent suicide, police said.

“It appears to be a tragic case of apparent suicide,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea. “It is early in the investigation.

There was a suicide note left at the scene. I’m not going to get into the contents of that note.

Her housekeeper found her body hanging by a scarf at 10:20 a.m. at her home at Park Avenue and 77th Street.

”She is survived by her husband Andy, who is the brother of actor David Spade, and her 13-year-old daughter Frances.

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Born Kate Brosnahan, she achieved fame in the fashion world under the name Kate Spade

She was born in Kansas City in 1962 and went to Arizona State University where she met Andy Spade, who she eventually married and went into business with, forming the company Kate Spade New York in the early 1990s.

They started the company after she worked at the magazine Mademoiselle. It eventually grew into a global lifestyle brand.

Police sources say there were indications of financial and marital issues.

Spade’s death sent shockwaves throughout the fashion world, and also on the streets of New York.

She turned a bag into a billion dollar brand, as her handbags created a huge sensation in the fashion industry in the 1990s.

gettyimages 470840220 Police: Designer Kate Spade Found Dead In Manhattan Apartment In Apparent Suicide

Her company, Kate Spade New York, at one point had over 140 retails shops across the country and 175 internationally.

View image on Twitter

“Kate Spade, the visionary founder of our brand, has passed. Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly heartbreaking time. We honor all the beauty she brought into this world,” Kate Spade New York tweeted.

When people think of Kate Spade, they think of bright, vibrant, simple designs.

“I’ve always associated them with cheery, positive clothing and items,” one woman told CBS2.

“Her personality in many ways matched the designs that she produced,” said Patricia Mears of the Fashion Institute of Technology.

When news of her death broke, many were shocked at the dark, complicated circumstances surrounding it.

Mears met Spade back in the ’90s.

“[Her death] was very much contrary to what we all knew of Kate Spade, a wonderful, warm, outgoing human being,” she said.

“I think what was happening at the time either they were too designed, overly complicated, or they were so basic and functional that there wasn’t really any ‘Oh, I just have to have it’ spirit to them,” she said in a 2002 interview.

The company started with just a few orders, and soon enough Hollywood’s elite came calling and buying her bags.

In 2007, they sold the company. Just last year, Coach bought the Kate Spade company in a $2.4 billion deal.

In 2016, she started a new shoes and accessories brand called Frances Valentine, and changed her name to Kate Valentine Spade.

All the while, she had a broad reach of customers.

“Kate really knew how to not only create something that was covetable and be worn by a wide demographic, but she understood you had to do it at every price point,” Mears said.

Women on the street were quick to pull out their Kate Spade wallets to show CBS2’s cameras.

“Really classy, I love her stuff. It’s really sad,” one woman said.

“I’m completely shocked. I have her shoes upstairs underneath my desk,” another said.

“I don’t believe it. Why? I think she had it all,” another woman told Gainer.

Spade was also the mother to a 13-year-old girl. Police sources tell CBS2 the note she left was addressed to her daughter.

Kate Spade’s sister, Reta Saffo, called her “a precious little person” in a statement sent to CBS2 late Tuesday.

“She was surrounded by YES people, for far too long, therefore she did not receive the proper care for what I believe to be (and tried numerous times to get help for) Bipolar disorder… stemming from her immense celebrity,” the statement continued.

“She never expected it — nor was she properly prepared for it. Unfortunately, untreated, it finally took its toll on her.”

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Kate Spade,” Hudson’s Bay, the parent company of Lord & Taylor and Saks, wrote in tweet.

“She was a beloved talent that made an enduring mark on American fashion. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family. Kate will be missed by many.”

“Kate Spade had an enviable gift for understanding exactly what women the world over wanted to carry.

She launched her label at a time when everyone thought that the definition of a handbag was strictly European, all decades-old serious status and wealth.

Then along came this thoroughly American young woman who changed everything,” said Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief of Vogue.

“There was a moment when you couldn’t walk a block in New York without seeing one of her bags, which were just like her; colorful and unpretentious.

Kate designed with great charm and humor, and built a global empire that reflected exactly who she was and how she lived. Long before we talked about ‘authenticity’, she defined it.”


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