Designer Kate Spade has died at 55

Kate spadeFrances ValentineSpade launched a new brand of shoes and handbags called Frances Valentine in 2016.
  • Kate Spade, 55, was found dead in her New York City apartment on Tuesday morning.
  • The Associated Press, citing law-enforcement officials, says a housekeeper found the designer.
  • An NYPD officer told the New York Post that Spade left a note behind, leading them to believe this was a suicide.
  • Spade is survived by her husband, Andy Spade, and her 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade.

The fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in her New York City apartment on Tuesday in what authorities reportedly believe was a suicide.

A housekeeper found Spade in her home at 850 Park Avenue at about 10:20am, the Associated Press reports, citing law-enforcement officials.

The New York Times reports she left behind a note. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:26am.

“At this point, there was a note left. The contents of that note, as well as the physical state of the apartment and the comments of the witness, lend to the credibility that it is an apparent suicide,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told the New York Post.

Spade is survived by her husband, Andy, and her 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade.

In a statement to the Times, the Spade family said, “We are all devastated by today’s tragedy. We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly. We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.”

Kate SpadeGettySpade started her career as an accessories editor at Mademoiselle magazine in 1986.

In a 2002 interview with Glamour magazine, Kate Spade said, “I hope that people remember me not just as a good businesswoman but as a great friend – and a heck of a lot of fun.”

Her namesake business, Kate Spade New York, has more than 315 stores globally, including more than 140 in the US.

Spade launched the business, which sells handbags, shoes, and accessories, with Andy Spade in 1993. The couple sold their shares in the company to Neiman Marcus in 2006 for an undisclosed amount.

Liz Claiborne then bought Kate Spade shortly afterward for a reported $US124 million, and Coach acquired the company last year for $US2.4 billion.

Spade reentered the fashion industry two years ago with the launch of a new brand, which she named Frances Valentine after her daughter, selling shoes and handbags.

Spade started her career as an accessories editor at Mademoiselle magazine in 1986. She worked her way up to be senior fashion editor before leaving the magazine in 1991 to launch her namesake fashion brand.

Kate SpadeMatthew Peyton / StringerSpade with her husband, Andy.

She was named “America’s New Fashion Talent in Accessories” in 1996 by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Two years later, the CFDA named her the best accessory designer of the year.

In a recent video posted to Frances Valentine’s website, Spade talked about where she found inspiration.

“People always ask me, ‘Where do you find inspiration?’ and I think that’s a very difficult question because I think everywhere… I find it in everyday life,” she said.

She also joked about the challenges of working with friends and family.

“The most fun thing about what I do is about working with friends and family,” she said. “I would say the most challenging part is working with friends and family.”

* If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.

Remembering Kate Spade:

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