In Honor of Kate Spade

Kate Brosnahan Spade

On Tuesday, June 5th 2018 designer Kate Spade committed suicide. My faithful readers, close friends, and family know this woman and her brand Kate Spade New York hold a special place in my heart and my closet. In her honor, I am highlighting the best of her and Kate Spade New York, while sharing my personal connection to her.



About the Designer & Brand

  • In 1993, She founded Kate Spade New York, and opened her first shop in 1996 (1 year before I was born)!
  • She began with 6 silhouettes that combined sleek, utilitarian shapes and color in fabulous, new ways!


  • The Sam handbag (above) is available AGAIN this year to celebrate the brand’s 25th anniversary. This bag was first designed at the start in 1993 as a boxy, black nylon handbag (below). The Sam won over fashionistas and editors then, and it’s a must have today in multiple colors and pebbled leather.  See the original below.


  • Kate Spade New York’s bags are bold in color and design, incorporating whimsy! Read more about who they are here. 



  • I bet you did not know THE Kate Spade sold 56% of the brand to Neiman Marcus in 1999.
  • In 2007, Liz Claiborne acquired the company, and Kate Spade officially stepped away and was no longer part of the designer brand, and it officially became Kate Spade New York, instead of just Kate Spade.
  • Most recently Coach bought Kate Spade New York for $2.4 billion dollars.

Why such a tragic death?

Kate Spade hung herself at age 55 in her New York City apartment. Of course, no one knows for sure yet why she took her life. However, here’s what I think…

  • I believe giving up Kate Spade the brand was harder for Kate Spade in the long run then she expected. When she originally sold it all completely to Liz Claiborne, I read Kate did so in order to spend more time with her daughter and escape the pressures of the fashion design world.


  • She did not stay away long. Unfortunately, very few people know of her incredible brand Frances Valentine. She started it a few years ago. It embodies the mature, Kate Spade woman. I love it! It represents Kate Spade with fun and whimsical designed that are more refined for middle-aged women.
  • I believe leaving Kate Spade New York and a not as successful Frances Valentine, left Kate Spade feeling empty. A woman of her talent is meant to lead a great brand!

Personal Feelings on Kate Spade

Kate Spade died way too soon. She paved the way for bold colors and fun designs in accessories and bags for professional women.


I truly believe the designer and her brand bring women joy through their accessories and handbags which function for on the go . I write about that here!


Each bag is made with quality materials, perfect for busy women! I am currently carrying this bag to my internship because I have to haul a lot to work.


The designer brand has a mission and gift of spreading joy!


They continuously encourage women to “live colorfully” and “be bold” through their #katespadejoy campaign! You can literally see the joy in my face thanks to Kate!


I can’t say enough good things about Kate Spade New York, so I solve that by buying more bags and accessories. Here is a snapshot of most of my Kate Spade New York collection. (Not pictured are bracelets, earrings, key chains, and jewelry boxes I have of hers. Oh and of course office supplies and decor)



Two days before her passing my mom, and I purchased a new bag for summer from a Kate Spade New York store in Fort Myers, Florida.



About a year ago my mom and I also had the privilege to shop at the first and currently only Kate Spade store in Paris. It had only been open a week or two when we visited!


I am beyond thankful for the life of Kate Spade. She was a women full of joy and playfulness, paving the way for bright, bold, and whimsical designs in women’s accessories and bags.



Please join me in remembering Kate Spade by honoring her life and her incredibly joyful brand by sharing what makes you joyful in the comments below. Share this with your friend, family, or anyone who needs a little up lifting. Mental illness caused her suicide. Maybe she needed a little more joy. Be someone’s joy today and share #katespadejoy.

Writing this simply made me more joyful and sharing it with you is icing on the cake.


* This post was written quickly in response to Kate Spade’s sudden passing. Please excuse grammatical and typographical errors. It is more important for me to share the joy Kate Spade’s life brought in a timely manner than write something perfectly*


One thought on “In Honor of Kate Spade

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