The Late Kate Spade's Celebrity Clients Share Their Thoughts On Her Tragic Death
Kate Spade, an American designer best known for her whimsical yet sophisticated handbag, accessory, and apparel designs, will be deeply missed by her global clientele, many of which are society's A-list men and women.
“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.” — Kate Spade • Famous for her eponymous label, which has celebrated women since the ‘90s with its iconic ultra-feminine handbags and accessories, Kate Spade has passed away at 55. ?? The designer will truly be missed. May she rest in peace. (?? by Getty Images via @bbc) • #Fashion #KateSpade #FashionDesigner #Handbags #wellstyledlife #lifestyled #lifegoals #inspiredliving
The 55-year-old reportedly took her own life in the early hours of June 5 in her Manhattan apartment. She leaves behind her husband and business partner, Andy Spade, and her only child, 13-year-old Frances. Her company, Kate Spade New York, was founded in 1993 and has been a pillar of the fashion industry ever since.
Known to be a cheerful person whose sunny disposition was reflected in her work, Kate was not simply a designer to many, but also a dear friend, and even a woman who inspired others to find beauty in life. People from all corners of the world have come forward to share the stories behind their most meaningful Kate Spade purchases, as well as memories made with the woman herself. Overall, all those who have shared their thoughts in an outpouring of grief and loss have all agreed that her death was nothing but tragic and untimely.
Honoring the memory of the creative force that permanently reshaped the landscape of American fashion, here are what Kate Spade's famous clients had to say about her:
Kate Spade was more than a designer. She had a quirky visual language that captivated Bat Mitzvah girls and artists alike. She was also a staple of NYC who spread good will. My heart breaks for her family. Thank you, Kate, from one of the millions you made feel beautiful.— ?? Lena Dunham ?? (@lenadunham) June 5, 2018
Tom & Lorenzo
The sadly ironic part is that if I had to use one word to describe #KateSpade's aesthetic, I would say "Happy."— Tom & Lorenzo (@tomandlorenzo) June 5, 2018
Please seek help if you're overwhelmed and reach out to others who look like they might be.
#KateSpade, whose lively, colorful, and yes, joyous designs has died. My deepest sympathy to her family and friends, and her many fans around the world, who loved the wonderful illusions she created. I am stunned.— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) June 5, 2018
Jenna Bush Hager
I will never forget the first Kate Spade bag I got for Christmas in college. She was a trailblazer. Her life and death are a reminder that pain doesn’t discriminate. Sending love to her family.— Jenna Bush Hager (@JennaBushHager) June 5, 2018
My heart and prayers go out to Kate Spade and her family. What a wonderful, talented woman who will be dearly missed.— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) June 5, 2018
Very saddened to hear about the passing of Kate Spade. Mental illness does not discriminate and can happen to anyone with any circumstances. I hope she has found peace ??— Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) June 5, 2018
My very first designer purse was a black, shoulder strap Kate Spade. I treasured it and was obsessed with keeping the little white Kate Spade label clean. It’s funny how a purse can instantly make you feel like an adult. Rest in love. ????????— om (@oliviamunn) June 5, 2018
Bryce Dallas Howard
What a devastating morning to hear that one of our most beloved American designers has passed. Seven years ago, I was asked to be the first celebrity ‘face’ of their brand. I still look back on that experience as a dream coming true. It may surprise some of you to know that I never actually met Kate Spade, but for as long as I can remember her fashion has influenced and inspired me. From quirky prints to ladylike cuts and everything in between, she designed with playful sophistication for every woman and girl. She made fashion fun and empowering and full of personality. What some of you may not know is that Kate Spade and her company (@katespadeny) were also dedicated to giving back, especially to women. The Kate Spade & Company Foundation provides approximately 1.2 million a year to nonprofit organizations who help provide women with access to tools and training to achieve economic independence. I hope that both her and her company’s work to bring fashion and women’s economic success to everyone continues as her legacy unfolds. My love is with her family and friends at this very sad time. If you or someone you know is feeling distressed, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 800-273-TALK (8255) or follow the link in my bio.
Me heart goes out to Kate Spade's family. May we all take note that we never know what goes on in someone’s life. Be kind to people today, even those you think have it all. https://t.co/1SFbSRfQK6— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) June 5, 2018
I was so excited to be a part of her brand. Devastated for her family. RIP Kate Spade pic.twitter.com/gdAilsJuXZ— Kat Dennings (@OfficialKat) June 5, 2018
Knowing Katy, this is how she would want to be remembered. She had a light that words can’t capture but touched everyone she came into contact with. She was exceedingly kind, beautifully sensitive, insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known. She was effervescent. Hug your loved ones extra tight today.
I remember when I got my first Kate Spade bag in high school. It was my most prized possession. My current wallet ,covered in bees , makes me smile every time I see it- it’s by Kate Spade. My heart is just broken for her family and loved ones.— Beth Behrs (@BethBehrs) June 5, 2018
Kate Spade & her brand have always been so kind to me the past couple years & I’m crushed to hear about her passing. Suicide isn’t “the easy way out” and shouldn’t be mocked. My heart goes out to her family & team today ????— Tess Holliday ?? (@Tess_Holliday) June 5, 2018
As "unfussy" as I am, I still loved my Kate Spade bags. Practical, classy, and elegant... Praying for her family...her husband and 13 yr old daughter.— Viola Davis (@violadavis) June 5, 2018
Here we are in happier times, I’ll miss my dear friend Kate. My thoughts are with her family?? pic.twitter.com/OcvjLlXi8e— Cynthia Rowley (@Cynthia_Rowley) June 5, 2018
I’ve worn Kate Spade for as long as i can remember, I’m thinking of her family . https://t.co/MFD2ygsMlf— Kristin Davis (@KristinDavis) June 5, 2018
Kate Spade and Co donated handbags to our scholars, so they'd show up at their internships looking great and feeling great. They always downplayed their gift, and maybe this sounds silly, but it was a big deal for our young women to show up to an important gig with a great bag. https://t.co/EbmpfSVhxZ— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) June 5, 2018
my heart is so broken hearing the news of Kate Spade. i grew up rocking her dresses and clothing and feeling SO strong, confident, and beautiful. thank you for your timeless work and empowering so many. my heart and prayers are with Kate and her loved ones. ?? pic.twitter.com/NXrzcKiWqy— Emma Kenney (@EmmaRoseKenney) June 5, 2018
Kate's fellow fashion designer, Kenneth Cole, also shared his thoughts on the tragedy. However, he was singled out in his tribute for Kate as he claims he was initially misunderstood. Kenneth, who is known to make puns on social media, previously tweeted, "’I believed that I could, so I did.’ She alone didn’t change the handbag world but she was an inspiring accessory.” Many thought that his words were insensitive and condescending, and the growing critcism prompted him to delete his original message and replace it with something more straightforward.
Kate Spade left an indelible mark on the fashion industry and her inspiring life and work will be missed. We lost a true visionary today. My heart goes out to her family and to all she has touched.— Mr. Kenneth Cole (@mr_kennethcole) June 5, 2018
Cover and content image from "Inside Kate Spade's Artsy New York Apartment | Hollywood at Home | People" from the PeopleTV YouTube channel