follow us on

The 5 Most Iconic Kate Spade Designs Of All Time

Live colorfully.

That is the famous motto of global fashion line, Kate Spade. Founded in the ‘90s—the era of grunge—Kate Spade offered something different to the market: vibrant colors, playful patterns, and feminine designs, a contrast from the sea of blacks, browns, and maroons popular back then. 

After the design house was established by Kate and her husband Andy Spade in 1993, its chic, fun, and utilitarian designs took the world by storm. Soon enough, it was impossible not to spot a woman carrying her iconic handbags in every corner of New York. In 2007, after successfully laying a foundation for the entry-level luxury brand, she sold her brand to Kate Spade & Company (formerly known as Liz Claiborne, Inc.), and the rest is history. In 2016, the creative visionary launched a new luxury brand, France Valentine—eventually changing her name to Kate Valentine.

While it’s been more than a decade since the designer has been creatively involved with Kate Spade, her legacy lives on. The design house stayed true to her fun aesthetic, aligning with her vision to make luxury brands relatable and accessible to the aspirational market.

As a tribute to the late Kate Valentine, we’ve compiled a list of the design house’s five most iconic designs through the decades:


READ: My Kate Spade Bag—Women From All Walks Of Life Share The Wonderful Stories Behind Their Bags


1. The Sam Bag

Without a doubt, the Sam, released in 1993, is Kate Spade’s most iconic bag—some would even call it the ‘it bag’ of the ‘90s! Black and boxy, the waterproof nylon bag was both utilitarian and timeless, making it an instant favorite among fashion editors and women all over the world. The versatile piece can be worn from day to night, from the office to the streets, and even to a party.


In celebration of their 25th anniversary, Kate Spade reissued the Sam this year, giving the iconic bag an update. Aside from nylon, Sam also comes in new materials such as leather, denim, canvas, and raffia. It is also available in new colors and sizes!



Photo: Kate Spade


Photo: Kate Spade



2. Quirky Clutches and Satchels

Kate Spade’s quirky bags are the perfect embodiment of playful sophistication. These whimsical bags come in all sorts of shapes and designs, ranging from pineapples and champagne bottles to New York cabs. One of the most famous designs is the boombox, which made its debut in 2016.

Photo: Nordstrom



Photo: Kate Spade


3. Raffia 

Before it was even a trend, designer Kate Spade had already created basket bags for everyday wear. Her raffia bags were launched in 2006, as part of her Spring/Summer collection. Here is the brand’s modern take on the raffia bag:



A post shared by kate spade new york (@katespadeny) on


Photo: Kate Spade


READ: The Late Kate Spade's Celebrity Clients Share Their Thoughts On Her Tragic Death



4. Floral Prints

Floral patterns have always been a trademark of Kate Spade. Whether they be hand-painted, printed, or embellished, one can spot pastel, dainty florals everywhere: on shoes, bags, dresses, passport holders, and even stationery sets!!


Photo: Kate Spade


Photo: Kate Spade


READ: "What You Need To Know About Frances Valentine--Kate Spade's Last Great Venture."


5. Bows

Lastly, keeping up with their charming, youthful aesthetic, Kate Spade regularly incorporates oversized bows as accents to their pieces.

Photo: Kate Spade


Photo: Kate Spade


Can't get enough? View this gallery to see more pieces featuring Kate Spade's 5 iconic designs!




All photos from @katespadeny and