Tuesday morning, it was reported that Kate Spade, née Katherine Noel Brosnahan, was found dead at 55 from apparent suicide in her N.Y.C. apartment, and the fashion world is reeling from the tragic loss.
The designer founded her namesake brand in 1993 with husband Andy Spade (brother of actor David Spade), and sold the company in 2006. In 2016, she began another accessories brand, Frances Valentine, named for her 13-year-old daughter.
As the news broke, celebrities and fashion insiders shared tributes to the prolific designer, who was known for her colorful bags and accessories. CFDA Chairwoman Diane von Furstenberg and CEO and President Steven Kolb released the following statement:
“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.
We want to honor her life and her major contribution to the fashion business and express our most sincere condolences to the family.”
On Twitter, Lena Dunham called Spade “more than a designer,” and said “she had a quirky visual language that captivated Bat Mitzvah girls and artists alike.” Reese Witherspoon said in a tweet that Spade was “a wonderful, talented woman who will be dearly missed.”
On Wednesday, Savannah Guthrie honored the designer by wearing a pink Kate Spade dress on Today, Tweeting, “A small way to send love and respect. Always your fan, @katespadeny.”
Kathy Griffin also wore a Kate Spade design following the news, sharing a photo of herself in a black-and-white polka-dot dress Tuesday night, adding “I always admired that she was self-made and was so sad to hear the news of her passing.”
Darcy Miller, editor-at-large at Martha Stewart Weddings and a longtime friend of Spade’s, shared a sweet photo of the designer in a birthday hat, along with the caption: “Remembering my kind and talented dear friend Kate Spade, who will always be the ultimate inspiration and is forever in my heart. All my love to her family.”
Many people, including Katie Couric, fashion influencer and designer Nicolette Mason and former Glamour editor in chief Cindi Leive also shared the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).