This week the handbag and accessories world was shocked and saddened by the untimely death of iconic handbag designer Kate Spade, the victim of an apparent suicide at her New york Apartment.
Spade launched her Kate Spade New York line in partnership with her husband Andy in 1993. The collection featured a series of clean-lined, classic silhouettes that became a 1990s It-Girl staples; this author still remembers the black nylon baguette style top-handle bag that my roommate had back in the 90s - how I coveted its simple, understated matte black simplicity.
The brand really took off in the 90s and grew rapidly for just under a decade when in 1999, Neiman Marcus purchased a 56% share in the company. In 2006, Neiman Marcus bought the remaining interest in the company, leaving Kate Spade to go on to pursue other creative ventures, while leaving her in situ with her eponymous brand. Later in 2006, Neiman Marcus sold their interest in the company to Liz Claiborne Inc for $124 million, and the label was re-branded as Fifth & Pacific.
For the next decade Spade kept a low profile, choosing to focus on raising her daughter, Frances Beatrix "Bea" Spade, who was born in 2005. Recently in 2016, Spade launched a new venture branded Frances Valentine, a luxury footwear and handbag line named for Spade's maternal Grandmother.
According to colleagues, Kate Spade always had an enormous amount of entrepreneurial charisma the world over.