Kate Spade's company, Kate Spade New York, has released an official statement addressing her passing. Spade was discovered in her home on Tuesday morning following an apparent suicide. Her housekeeper reportedly found her at 10:20 a.m. hanging in her apartment on Park Avenue in New York City.
"Kate Spade, the visionary founder of our brand, has passed," read the statement posted to the company's Twitter account. "Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly heartbreaking time. We honor all the beauty she brought into this world."
Spade took the fashion industry by storm starting in 1993, when she and her husband, Andy Spade, founded Kate Spade New York. She had plenty of experience from her time at Mademoiselle Magazine, and soon turned her company into a lifestyle brand with global reach.
Through the 90s and early 2000s, Spade was especially popular for her line of handbags. At the time, Kate Spade New York had over 140 retail stores in the U.S. and at least 175 internationally.
She spoke to CBS about her meteoric rise to success in 1999.
"There was a lack of interesting accessories that had a personality but still very elegant and functional," she said at the time. "And I loved the idea of using really beautiful fabrics, and I didn't see a lot of that."
Kate and Andy met at Arizona State University, where they were both students. The two eventually married and moved to New York. They were close with Andy's brother, comedian David Spade, who starred in a sitcom centered around a fashion magazine around the same time. Just Shoot Me! ran from 1997 to 2003 on NBC.
In season 6 of the series, Kate Spade even dropped in for a cameo where she played herself. She appeared on two episodes of the series, where the main cast sent her running from the office of Blush Magazine with their zany antics. She dipped her toe into the world of television a few more times, with an appearance as a guest judge on Project Runway.
David Spade has yet to publicly react to his sister-in-law's passing. Though he is generally very active on social media, his most recent post was made on Sunday evening.
Elsewhere, Kate Spade's suicide sent a shockwave through social media on Tuesday. Many users paused to reflect on the state of mental health in America, and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number, 1-800-273-8255 was widely circulated.