Kate Spade New York Completes $1M Pledge to Mental Health Organizations 1 Year After Designer's Death
Kate Spade New York remembers its founder a year after her tragic death
On the one-year anniversary of Kate Spade‘s death, the designer’s original fashion brand, Kate Spade New York, announced it has completed its $1 million pledge to support suicide prevention and mental health organizations.
The Kate Spade New York Foundation announced it is donating $200,000 to The Jed Foundation (JED), which works to protect emotional health and prevent suicide in teens and young adults by partnering with schools and colleges to improve education and awareness programs, the brand says in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. Kate Spade New York is also matching donations made to JED by the public (you can make a donation here) through June 12 up to $100,000.
“Kate Spade brought so much beauty and joy into the world, and now more than ever, we are committed to carrying on her legacy,“ Anna Bakst, Brand President and Chief Executive Officer of Kate Spade New York said.
Baskt added: “Through our continued support of mental wellness organizations, we hope to encourage more conversation, education and research around mental health to help those suffering.”
The brand already donated $250,000 to the Crisis Text Line in June 2018, the Fountain House (a nonprofit that works to improve the lives of people living with serious mental illnesses) in February 2019 and to Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services (which provides free mental health, substance use disorder and suicide prevention services) in May 2019.
In addition to its donations, Kate Spade New York is also committed to promoting employees’ mental wellbeing. Since Spade’s death, the company established an ongoing Mind, Body, Soul program for employees in offices around the globe, which provides resources for overall wellness.
Though Spade left her namesake label in 2006 (and later founded a new accessories brand, Frances Valentine, in 2016), her legacy at Kate Spade New York has always lived on. To remember the late designer on the day of her death, the brand posted a touching tribute to her on its Instagram.
“she was smart, chic, artful, witty, timeless, charming, trailblazing, gracious and so much more: kate spade inspired millions of women to stand out in a crowd. we honor the life of our visionary founder and all the joy and beauty she brought into this world. her vision inspires us every day,” the caption read.
Frances Valentine also remembered Spade on Instagram by posting a photo of the designer with Elyce Arons, her business partner and close friend.
“Her vision resonates with us at impossible levels, because we all know it, we all feel it, we all get it when we see it. Missing our dear friend Katy today. ♥️,” the brand wrote.
Spade’s brother-in-law, actor David Spade, remembered her by sharing a sweet photo together with a simple heart emoji caption.
And her niece, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star Rachel Brosnahan, posted an Instagram photo of Spade with the caption, “💚 Missing Katy B today 💚.”
Kate Spade was found dead by suicide in her New York City apartment on June 5, 2018. Her husband and business partner, Andy Spade, revealed on the day of her death that she was in treatment for depression and anxiety.
“Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives. We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy,” Andy, 56, said in a statement.
She was honored by Kate Spade New York through storefront window displays a day after her death. Each store removed all signage and product from their windows and replace it with a poster of the company’s statement following her death, which was posted on Instagram.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.