Fashion Designer Kate Spade Commits Suicide

Fashion designer Kate Spade has been found dead in her New York apartment.

Police are investigating her death as an apparent suicide.

The 55 year old was found dead in her Park Avenue apartment at 10:20 local time (15:20 BST) by her housekeeper, a law enforcement official said.

Kate Spade was well known as a designer of clothes, shoes, and jewellery, but was best known for her accessory line. She co-founded Kate Spade Handbags in 1993 with husband Andy Spade.

The company opened its first store in New York in 1996, and now has more than 300 branches worldwide.

The company’s bright and colourful patterned designs became a trademark of its products.

It is recognisable for its distinctive logo which features the spades playing card symbol, in reference to the designer’s surname.

Kate Spade sold her namesake brand in 2007.

It was bought last year by New York rival designer Coach in a deal worth $2.4bn (£1.8bn).

The couple then set up another design venture, Frances Valentine, named after one of their daughters.

Kate Spade legally changed her name to Kate Valentine (Valentine was her grandfather’s middle name) to “separate the two worlds”.

The New York Police Department confirmed her death under her birth name, Katherine Noel Brosnahan.

News of her death has led to many tributes to her work.

The story behind Kate Spade’s iconic brand

Kate Spade and her husband, Andy Spade, began building their iconic fashion empire in the ’90s.

Spade, a former accessories editor, started designing handbags in 1993, according to the brand’s website.

“Debuting with just six silhouettes, she combined sleek, utilitarian shapes and colorful palettes in an entirely new way,” the website says.

The first Kate Spade store opened in New York City in 1996.

Handbag giant Coach first announced plans to buy the company last year with a massive $2.4 billion deal. The parent company of Coach went on to spend nearly $3 billion to buy the Kate Spade clothing and handbag label and the Stuart Weitzman shoe brand.

But sales have been dropping this year: Same-store sales for Kate Spade plunged 9% in the first quarter because of a huge drop in online revenue.