Kate Spade Friend Opens up About Her Death: 'It Was Probably One Moment of Despair'

Kate Spade passed away on June 5 of this year from suicide, and the late designer has left a legacy of fashion that will endure through her timeless designs and memorable spirit.

In an interview with Good Morning America on Thursday, Spade's good friend Elyce Arons reflected on the 55-year-old's passing, sharing that she still wonders, "Why?"

"I have thought and thought and thought about it, but I think it was probably one moment of despair ... of deep sadness that she felt while she was alone," Arons said of Spade's passing. "I can't answer what that was."

The two women had known each other for years, first meeting at the University of Kansas. They became so close that Arons shared that she referred to the designer as "Katy with a Y."

"I have a really hard time calling her Kate because that came about through the business," Arons explained. "But I had known her for so much longer than that."

Despite their close bond, Arons noted that she wasn't always sure of what her friend was thinking.

"It was tough because she didn't always say it," Arons recalled. "She'd be sad and then ... one minute later she'd make a joke."

"We talked every day and most of the time she was very happy," she added. "But I don't know if anyone can understand the depths of depression of another person."

Along with being close friends, Spade and Arons worked together for decades, with Arons, Spade and Spade's husband, Andy Spade, co-founding fashion company Frances Valentine together in 2016.

Arons shared that after Spade's death, she has been hearing from numbers of women who have been impacted by Spade and her designs.

"We've had ... a lot of people write in and and talk about how she had changed their lives," she said, adding that many customers ask the brand, "'Please keep going and keep her designs alive and her spirit alive.'"

"That's what we're going to do," Arons said.

Frances Valentine is currently preparing to launch a new collection, something Arons noted her late friend would be pleased to see.

"I think she would be thrilled," she said of Spade. "I think she would be really happy."

To remember the late fashion icon, Frances Valentine is re-releasing the "Kate" bag, which was originally featured in the very first line Spade launched with her eponymous brand, Kate Spade, in 1993.

Proceeds from the bag's sales will go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America in honor of Spade's lifelong support for children's charities.


"We miss her every day," Arons said of the Frances Valentine staff. "Her spirit's here."

Photo Credit: Getty / Boston Globe