Kate Spade New York honored its late founder during the brand’s fashion show today during New York Fashion Week. Although Spade hadn’t worked at her namesake label since she sold her stake in 2006, her name and persona were forever linked to the label, and this fashion show marked the brand’s first major presentation since Spade’s tragic death by suicide in June.
The nod to the late designer was subtle and true to who Kate was: Tasteful, with a side of sparkle.
Each attendee, including Elizabeth Olsen, Priyanka Chopra, Kate Bosworth and Gillian Jacobs, had two cards placed at their seat inside the Celeste Bartos Forum at the New York Public Library, a cavernous space that transformed into an intimate, pink-covered venue.
The first card said “she left a little sparkle everywhere she went” on one side, and “in loving memory 1962-2018” on the other.
The note was both figurative and quite literal: When the models hit the runway, at first to the song “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega, a trail of silver sparkle guided their path.
Even the beauty look for the models featured some shimmer. Copper glitter covered the models’ eyelids, a look created by makeup artist Romy Soleimani, and manicurist Julie Kandalec for Essie gave the models a “very adult” nude glitter manicures and pedicures.”
The other card left on attendees’ seats featured a description of the forthcoming season by the brand’s current designer, Nicola Glass. Glass notes that she looked back to look forward, writing that spring 2019’s season is “a journey that starts at the beginning to form new paths.” She also wrote that she looked at “original codes of the house refined and evolved in unique ways,” “a thoughtful approach to design,” and “it’s the little things that mean the most.”
Glass’s thoughtful approach to the clothes translated into small, sweet nods to the past that were made new. A spade print designed to look like flowers (with leaves made of hearts) covered bags, sweaters, skirts and more. A yellow bag in the shape of the iconic boxy shape that helped put the Kate Spade brand on the map was also featured. “This collection has been given a lot of care, attention and love,” wrote Nicola. That was made quite clear.
Kate founded her namesake iconic brand in 1993 alongside her husband, Andy Spade. Quickly, her brand became synonymous with style, whimsy and joy, and won the hearts of celebrities and women around the world. The Spades sold the company in 2006, and a decade later, Spade launched a new accessories line, Frances Valentine, with her husband and her best friend and business partner Elyce Arons.
Arons told Good Morning America earlier this week that the Frances Valentine brand will live on, and after confirming earlier in the summer that Spade left behind four seasons of complete work. In fact, one of first major releases from the label since Kate’s death is a reimagining of the boxy bag that made Kate famous. It’s available for $195 at Barney’s New York, and 20 percent of proceeds will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of America. (As of publication, the bag has run out of stock.)
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Kate died at the age of 55 on June 5, 2018. Her husband Andy said in a statement to PEOPLE at the time, “Kate was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the kindest person I’ve ever known and my best friend for 35 years. My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her. We are deeply heartbroken and miss her already.”
The couple had been married for 24 years and shared one daughter, Frances Beatrix, 13.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
—With reporting by Kaitlyn Frey