Fashion devotees and those who knew Kate Spade are reeling after the news that the designer has taken her own life.
According to various news reports, the 55-year-old was found unconscious in her New York City apartment by her housekeeper on Tuesday. She was pronounced dead at the scene, having apparently hanged herself with a red scarf.
According to the AP, Ms. Spade’s 13-year-old daughter was at school at the time and a note was found at the scene, though police have declined to elaborate on the contents of the letter.
The designer started her handbag company in 1994 with her husband Andy Spade. The brand Kate Spade New York counts over 200 retail shops and outlets across the country and internationally.
Kate Spade, the brand, was sold to Coach Inc. in 2017 for a reported $2.4 billion. Forbes reported at the time that Spade previously cashed out of the company in 2006 for $46.5 million, relaunching herself in 2016 with her new fashion brand, Frances Valentine.
Spade’s brother is actor David Spade and her niece is the fabulous Mrs. Maisel star Rachel Brosnahan.
Ivanka Trump, Nikki Haley, and actresses Lena Dunham and Beth Behrs were among those who expressed their shock and condolences.
Trump called awareness of depression:
Kate Spade’s tragic passing is a painful reminder that we never truly know another’s pain or the burden they carry. If you are struggling with depression and contemplating suicide, please, please seek help. https://t.co/eruSexNoGj
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 5, 2018
Chelsea Clinton recalled her memories of Kate Spade and her first handbag received as a gift.
My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kate’s family, friends and loved ones in my heart.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) June 5, 2018
Musician Josh Groban noted that depression does not discriminate:
Depression does not discriminate and comes without warning. RIP Kate Spade. Love to her family.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
— josh groban (@joshgroban) June 5, 2018
Actress Lucy Hale also noted that Spade’s passing was tragic:
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
Kat Dennings also expressed her sadness:
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
Rosanna Arquette too chimed in with her thoughts about the designer:
Bless you Kate spade im so sad for your family. I’m So sad you were in so much pain.
— Rosanna Arquette (@RoArquette) June 5, 2018
Daily Beast editor Justin Miller cited her philanthropic works of late:
Kate Spade regularly returned to her native Kansas to raise money for a brain-injury charity after her friend died following a gunshot https://t.co/7ppgPnBAAq
— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) June 5, 2018
U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted that a phone call could save a life in her expressions of sadness over Ms. Spade’s death:
The passing of Kate Spade is a stark reminder that we never know the struggles of a person regardless of their outward persona. If you or anyone you love is struggling, there is help. You don’t have to be alone.
The Natl Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255 #RIPKateSpade
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) June 5, 2018
If you, or anyone you know, is having suicidal thoughts please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number on 1-800-273-8255 or go to their website here.