Fashion Designer Kate Spade Dies at 55

Kate Spade, fashion designer and founder of the iconic eponymous handbag brand, has died of an apparent suicide. She was 55.

According to the Associated Press, law enforcement officials found the designer inside her Park Avenue apartment in New York at about 10:20 a.m. Officials said she left a note at the scene.

Kate Spade and husband Andy Spade launched their design house in 1993. It grew into a full-scale clothing, shoes and accessories line and global lifestyle brand. Now owned by Tapestry Inc., the label boasts more than 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the U.S. and more than 175 boutiques around the world.

A decade after selling their stake in
 the namesake brand, the Spades in 2016 founded Frances Valentine, a luxury brand of women’s shoes and accessories that maintains a similar aesthetic and message. They named it after their now-13-year-old daughter, Frances. Kate Spade also changed her surname to Valentine, partly as a nod to the line.

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