As the fashion world mourns the loss of an industry icon, PEOPLE looks back at our candid 2016 sit-down with late designer Kate Spade

By PeopleStyle
June 05, 2018 06:33 PM

As the fashion world mourns the loss of an industry icon and celebrity fans take to social media to share their shock and sadness, PEOPLE looks back at our candid 2016 sit-down with Kate Spade, who died of an apparent suicide on Tuesday.

The designer invited PEOPLE into her New York City home, an apartment on Park Avenue, to talk about her latest venture, that launch of accessories line Frances Valentine.

Here in her own words, Spade, who had just officially changed her name to Kate Valentine at the time of the interview, opened up about her family life, her career in fashion and more.

On Being a Working Mom
“You have to strike a balance between being a parent and going to the office. I like the fact that Frances knows there’s a choice and that she is in a position to make it. You can work. You can stay at home. You can go back to work. She has options.”

On Her Best Career Advice 
“Jump all the way in. Don’t be afraid. I had considered staying in my job at Condè Nast and I thought that maybe I can do both and that way I wouldn’t lose my salary because I’m really nervous about insurance and all of that. And I remember someone saying, ‘Oh if you don’t go all the way in you’ll never do it.’ And that makes you very scrappy and very resourceful. I had no choice but to make it work.”

Andrew Hetherington

On That Iconic Nylon Bag
“I have 10 in black and 10 in navy that I had made for me specifically before I left [Spade parted ways with her namesake company in 2007] because I like them with the short handles. I have some in my hall closet and then most of them are in storage.”

RELATED PHOTOS: Kate Spade’s Most Iconic Pop-Culture Moments Photos

On Her Love of Fashion, But Not Trends 
“Fashion is to be fun. Buy what you love. Honestly, enjoy it. Don’t feel like you have to buy things because they’re in and because everyone’s wearing it. That to me is something that you do when you’re 11.”

Andrew Hetherington

On Launching Her New Brand After The Success of Kate Spade
“I’m not looking to go backwards and to do anything that we’ve already done or to disrupt what Kate Spade is doing now. There’s no business plan. I’m a little less nervous, not so much about the company, but in terms of how I dress, how I design. It’s how I began Kate Spade. I don’t want to lose that feeling as the company grows.”

–reporting by Sharon Clott Kanter