Sad news for American fashion. Designer Kate Spade, 55, committed suicide on Tuesday morning in New York, police confirmed to Agence France-Presse. An NYPD spokeswoman said while the suicide was established, its exact circumstances were yet to be determined. But according to a source familiar with the matter, Kate Spade, who was married and had a daughter, hanged herself in her apartment and left a note.
Born Katherine Brosnahan, Kate Spade was initially a journalist for Mademoiselle magazine before creating her label in 1993 with her husband, Andy Spade, an advertising executive, and outside investors. A New York brand of leather goods, it is known for its brightly colored handbags, but has managed to diversify by launching a line of shoes and attacking ready-to-wear. The designer had sold all of her shares in 2006 and was no longer associated with management or creation within the house which still bore her name.
Although originally from Kansas City (Missouri), she embodied like few others the New York style, a mixture of modernity and classicism. Specialized in accessories, Kate Spade will have especially marked her bags, whose very current style, chic but without ostentation, was the key to her success. Its most popular model, the "Sam", a medium-sized black rectangle bag, was relaunched this year, with several variations and new patterns and colors.
The President of the American Fashion Union (CFDA), designer Diane von Fürstenberg, and its CEO, Steven Kolb, said they were "devastated" by the news of the death of the stylist, "a great talent who had a immeasurable impact on American fashion and how the world viewed American accessories.
The name Kate Spade made headlines last May when it was announced that it had been acquired by the high-end American brand Coach. This transaction of 2.4 billion dollars was supposed to allow the latter to continue its development and expand its audience to young consumers. "Kate Spade is a brand that has distinguished itself and benefits from a truly unique positioning with a wide range of lifestyle [products] and good know-how with consumers, especially millennials," said Victor Luis, Coach CEO, in a statement.
On social networks, tributes are multiplying at the announcement of the death of the designer. Among them, Chelsea Clinton says she still has a special bond with the brand, having received her first Kate Spade bag from her grandmother.
The designer's famous accessories had earned her several mentions in the landmark television series of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Sex and the City. For actress and screenwriter Lena Dunham, "Kate Spade was more than a designer." On Twitter, the creator of the Girls series hailed a "must have in New York". “Thank you, Kate, from one of the millions you've made beautiful. “For many women, the first Kate Spade bag was the first adult purchase, the first designer bag,” commented Diana Pearl, journalist for the AdWeek site, on Twitter. "It's heartbreaking to hear that someone who has brought so much joy to so many people is in so much pain," she added of the brunette woman whose hair was often up on top of her head. .
Psychiatrist Robert Dicker noted with Agence France-Presse that celebrity suicides were often followed by an increase in the number of attempts. After the news of Kate Spade's death, dozens of people tweeted the number for the National Suicide Prevention Service.