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Tragedy struck yesterday when the sorrowful news of Kate Spade's apparent suicide was revealed to the public. The 55-year-old fashion designer and famous businesswoman was found dead in her Park Avenue residence near 10 AM ET, with her body hung by her bedroom doorknob using a ligature, which was believed to be a red scarf. The still-developing story is a harrowing series of events for such a beloved fashion icon. It will take some time to process what happened, but it is believed that Spade was clinically depressed and dealing with troubling life problems, particularly after her husband, Andy Spade, allegedly requested a divorce days before Kate took her own life. There's reason to believe she suggested as much in her suicide note.
Andy Spade was not living in the family home when Kate Spade was found dead, according to TMZ. He was living in a separate nearby apartment at the time. They shared a child together, 13-year-old Frances Beatrix. As TMZ also reported, Kate Spade's suicide note expressed deep-seated love for her daughter, Frances Beatrix, and the acclaimed designer claimed that Andy Spade would likely know why she decided to take her own life. The note reportedly told Frances to "ask daddy." The couple was married in 1994, and together, they helped build Kate's monumental fashion empire. She began her career as an accessories editor for the women's magazine Mademoiselle, before she began to sell her own handbags under the named Kate Spade Handbags. Throughout the '90s, the married couple rose to higher prominence by expanding into clothing and jewelry.
Kate Spade expressed her love for her daughter by naming her newest fashion line, Frances Valentine, after her only child in 2016. It is suggested that Kate Spade wanted to the family to stay together, while Andy Spade was the one pushing to get a divorce. The reason why Andy Spade, the brother of David Spade, wanted a divorce is unclear at this time. It is, unquestionably, a sad series of events for a family that is one of the most famous and legendary in American history.
Kate Spade New York housed more than 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the country. It held 175 stores internationally. She is seen as one of the most famous and iconic women in recent American fashion history.
As we did before, we wish to remember Kate Spade and her indelible life and legacy through her own words, in a quote from an interview with Glamour in 2002.
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.
If you or someone you know has thoughts about suicide, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, which is available 24/7 across the United States. We express our condolences to Kate Spade's daughter, husband and loved ones during this difficult time.