Although Spade was reportedly found hanging from her bedroom door by a housekeeper, The New York Times reports that Andy, who is the brother of actor David Spade, was present on the scene when police pronounced her dead at 10:26 a.m. A police spokesperson did not know the whereabouts of Spade and Andy's 13-year-old daughter, Frances.
Spade was 55 years old. She reportedly left a note, although authorities have not released details as to what it said. The Times reports that the housekeeper found her hanging from a red scarf tied to a doorknob.
She is survived by her husband, Andy, and their daughter. She was also the aunt of Rachel Brosnahan, the star of Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Spade and Andy met in college at Arizona State University and together launched Kate Spade New York in 1993. They married in 1994.
They sold Kate Spade New York to Neiman Marcus in 1999, which later sold it to Liz Claiborne, Inc. in 2006. Although Spade was the face of the brand, in 2007 the Spades left the company to focus on family and philanthropy. In 2016, Spade inserted herself back into the fashion world with her new project called Frances Valentine, named after their daughter. She was reportedly so committed to the project that she said in interviews that she had changed her surname from Spade to Valentine.
Just last year, Coach acquired the Kate Spade company for $2.4 billion.
Spade's contribution to the fashion industry was undeniable. She was known for her minimalist handbag line, which has since continued to grow to include clothing, shoes, other accessories and home goods, transforming itself into a full-blown lifestyle brand.0comments
The brand was also known for its sleek designs, bright colors and Spade's perfectly encapsulated aesthetic of colorful clothes and perms-bouffant.
She was honored twice by the Council of Fashion Designers of America — once in 1996 as an emerging accessories designer to watch, and again in 1998 as the best accessories designer of the year. She did not attend the group's annual gala and awards show on Monday night in Brooklyn.