Kate Spade: Fashion designer found dead in New York home

Kate Spade
Fashion designer Kate Spade has been found dead in her New York apartment.
Police are investigating her death as an apparent suicide.

She was found dead in her Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan at 10:20 local time (14:20 GMT) by her housekeeper, a law enforcement official said.
Spade - who once edited fashion magazine Mademoiselle - was well known as a designer of clothes, shoes, and jewellery, but was best known for her accessory line.
Stellar business career

She co-founded Kate Spade Handbags in 1993 with husband Andy Spade. The company - whose stated aim was to design the perfect handbag - opened its first store in New York in 1996, and now has more than 300 branches worldwide.

It is recognisable for its distinctive logo which features the spades playing card symbol, in reference to the designer's surname.

The company's bright and colourful patterned designs became a trademark of its products.

Kate Spade sold her namesake brand in 2007.

It was bought last year by New York rival designer Coach in a deal worth $2.4bn (£1.8bn).
She and her husband then set up another design venture, Frances Valentine, named after their daughter.

Kate Spade legally changed her name to Kate Valentine (Valentine was her grandfather's middle name) in 2016 to "separate the two worlds".
In the 25 years since Kate Spade's founding, the name has become a byword for a certain preppy style.

The former fashion editor told the New York Times she was looking for function, sophistication and "some style" when she launched her line of handbags in 1993, uninspired by other purses of the era.

Her look - bright colours and clear lines - quickly gained traction, appearing on the shelves of upmarket New York department stores like Barney's.

In 1999, Neiman Marcus took a majority stake, sealing the firm's ascendance in the fashion world and as a brand that embodied quirky fun, without straying too far from the country club.
The New York Police Department confirmed the 55 year old's death under her birth name, Katherine Noel Brosnahan.

The designer left behind a note, police said, but declined to discuss its contents.

The Spade family released a statement asking for privacy as they processed her death, the New York Times reported.

"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."


News of Kate Spade's death has led to many tributes to her work.
    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
    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

    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
Designer Diane von Furstenberg and Steven Kolb, executive officer of the Council ofFashion Designers of America, released a joint statement expressing their condolences.

"The CFDA is devastated to hear the news of our friend, colleague and CFDA member Kate Spade's tragic passing.

"She was a great talent who had an immeasurable impact on American fashion and the way the world viewed American accessories."