This may come as a surprise to some, but Kate Spade (the woman) doesn’t actually run Kate Spade New York (the brand).
Indeed, she left the company she founded shortly after it was acquired in 2006, and had been laying low ever since, focusing on family over fashion. “I needed a break and I really wanted to raise my daughter [Frances, now 11],” Spade, 53, says in a new interview for PEOPLE’s new issue, now on newsstands. “People asked me, ‘Don’t you miss it?’ I really didn’t. I mean, I loved what I was doing, but I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I might.”
But now she’s back in the style world with the launch of her new accessories brand, Frances Valentine, earlier this year. And about her popular name, which shares signage with over 400 Kate Spade New York stores worldwide? She officially (and legally) changed it to Kate Valentine Spade to match her new label. “I thought it was important to distinguish who I am now,” she says. “I’m the same person, but there’s a difference.”
So, clearly a lot has happened in Spade’s world in the last decade, which is we stopped by her art-filled New York home for a quick catch-up session for our “5 Questions” video series (watch it above!).
First things first, we had to know, what’s this fashion star’s ultimate style advice? “You’ve got to be fearless,” she says in the video. “Don’t feel like, ugh, I have to buy that bag because that bag is in. I love it when someone is like, ‘What is that?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t even know, I think it’s called hot tomato or something!'”
And trends? Forget ’em! “If you love it, yes, but I feel like being a slave to [trends] I would find exhausting and expensive,” she says.
She also dishes on her favorite things to hoard (hint: it’s not bags and shoes), how to pick the perfect shoe (hint: be impulsive) and what it’s really like to walk into a Kate Spade store these days (hint: it’s hysterical). Watch the video for all the fun, fabulous tidbits.
For more of our exclusive interview with Spade, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.