Following Kate Spade's tragic passing on Tuesday, people shared the ways her designs had affected their lives in tribute to the fashion mogul.
Spade was found dead in her Upper East Side apartment on Tuesday morning. The founder of Kate Spade New York had apparently hung herself with a scarf tied to her bedroom doornkob. Spade's husband, Andy, was reportedly in the home at the time, though it was the housekeeper who discovered her body.
Spade and her huband met in college at Arizona State University. The young couple moved to New York City and married, and Spade began working at Mademoiselle Magazine. With little experience, she took a shot and launched her company with no help except that of her husband.
Miraculously, it became a global sensation. Kate Spade New York began in 1993. Spade's signature handbags quickly became a must-have item for those in the high-end fashion world.
From there, things only got bigger. Within a decade, the company had over 140 stores in the U.S. and 175 internationally.
Spade's long-time friend and colleague, Fern Mallis, spoke to PEOPLE on Tuesday shortly after Spade's passing. She praised Spade as a visionary and a highly influential figure.
“Her collection was one of the most popular and brilliant and successful accessory businesses,” she told reporters. “Especially her tote bags, you just had to have it — everyone had to have it. They were at a price point that nobody else was doing.”
She also remembered Spade as an inspired dresser in her own right.
“She was as adorable as her accessories were,” she recalled. “She was always dressed fun and was always perky. She was very spirited. She was just a delight.”
Mallis could not remember her last encounter with Spade, but said that she often ran into her with her husband Andy at fashion events.
“They were very much part in the front lane of the fashion universe. They seemed to be a perfect couple, very happy together,” she said. “They were well suited for one another. My heart just goes out to Andy and their daughter.”
For Mallis, Spade's suicide was a massive shock. She called it "so out of character" for the mogul. Spade's death inspired a wave of awareness and conversation about mental health on social media, and many users circulated the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number, which is 1-800-273-8255.
Others posted heartfelt messages about Spade's work in the fashion industry as well. Here are a few tributes to her lifetime of passionate work.
My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kate’s family, friends and loved ones in my heart.— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) June 5, 2018
Chelsea Clinton posted a touching tribute to Spade on Twitter not long after the news of her passing broke.
"My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college," she recalled. "I still have it. Holding Kate’s family, friends and loved ones in my heart."
RIP Kate Spade. I pressured my parents to save up and buy one of your bags in 8th grade because everyone had to have one -- The Sam Bag, but in slate grey. My goth JAP era wishes you peace. My current one knows you have it.
If you're going through something, call: 1-800-273-8255 pic.twitter.com/iWWb64MMpo— the last glitter💫 (@thelastglitter) June 5, 2018
One woman recalled how Spade's bag allowed her to feel like an individual and a part of her class at the same time in 8th grade.
"I pressured my parents to save up and buy one of your bags in 8th grade because everyone had to have one -- The Sam Bag, but in slate grey. My goth JAP era wishes you peace. My current one knows you have it," she wrote.
This Kate Spade purse was one of the first “nice” things I ever owned and was a staple of all my bar/bat mitzvah outfits. A classic pic.twitter.com/wkNdwP5igu— Emily Cohn (@emily_cohn) June 5, 2018
"This Kate Spade purse was one of the first 'nice' things I ever owned," remembered one fan, "and was a staple of all my bar/bat mitzvah outfits. A classic".
I remember saving up for my first Kate Spade bag in my very early 20s and when I finally got it and removed it from the dust bag, I felt invincible and accomplished. Rest in peace.— Vivian Lee (@vivianwmlee) June 5, 2018
One woman recalled the desperate scrabble to save up for a Kate Spade bag, and how significant it was to her once she had it. "When I finally got it and removed it from the dust bag, I felt invincible and accomplished," she wrote. "Rest in peace."
Many people shared their favorite Kate Spade products throughout the day under the hashtag "My Favorite Kate."
Dear Kate Spade. This writer thanks you for all of the beautiful bags you brought into this world. pic.twitter.com/ZTO86Sx0ao— Jill Grunenwald (@Jill_Grun) June 5, 2018
A write named Jill Grunenwald thanked Kate Spade for a handbag with a full qerty keyboard stitched into the side, and "for all of the beautiful bags you brought into this world."
I saved my money & waited for a big sale to buy a #katespade bag. It is still one of my favorite purchases ever. She is gone WAY to soon. If you or someone you know needs help or assistance, call 1-800-273-8255. Tell someone. We got you! pic.twitter.com/n2xda4OXQH— Emilie Lorditch (@EmilieLorditch) June 5, 2018
Another woman remembered the patience it took to save up for one of Spade's highly coveted bags, but said she didn't regret a second of it.
"It is still one of my favorite purchases ever," she wrote.
Kate Spade gave weirdos, like me, a bag that made matched their quirky personality. pic.twitter.com/0NXVqxBGIk— Baylee Raya (@rayadarling45) June 5, 2018
"Kate Spade gave weirdos, like me, a bag that made matched their quirky personality," one person wrote.
Just hearing the Kate Spade news, and am broken-hearted. Her bags are a special thing my dad gets for me and my stepsister (and we have a Kate Spade shower curtain back home because I'm the New Yorker). Her products have always been so sentimental to me. Terribly sad.— Jeva Lange (@Jee_vuh) June 5, 2018
One fan mourned Kate Spade, reflecting on how many significant gifts and items in her life had come from Spade's prolific mind. In a separate tweet, she encouraged people to take their mental health seriously.
I am here if you ever want to talk, even if we barely know each other or have never met or just like each other's tweets sometime. And please, put this in your phone in case you or someone you love ever needs it: National Suicide Prevention Hotline:1-800-273-8255— Jeva Lange (@Jee_vuh) June 5, 2018