Spade took her own life on Tuesday morning. The 55-year-old was found dead in her Upper East Side apartment around 10:20 a.m. according to a report by CBS News, with a scarf tied from herself to her bedroom doornknob. She left a note leaving little doubt that her passing was a suicide.
On Monday night's episode of Jeopardy!, Spade's name was featured in the category of "Designer Initials." She was the question for the $800 answer.
Kate Spade was the answer to a question on Jeopardy! last night. pic.twitter.com/YLxaf42ap9— Peter Sblendorio (@petersblendorio) June 5, 2018
"She made a name for herself in the 1990s with her handbags: K.S.," read the clue. Leslie Manion was the contenstant to get the correct answer, putting her into the lead in a close game.
Spade was discovered by her housekeeper on Tuesday, though her husband, Andy Spade, was reportedly home at the time. According to The New York Post, law enforcement officials believe she was overwhelmed with problems in her marriage and her family.
"It was over family problems... in her relationship," an insider close to the investigation said.
The suicide note was reportedly addressed to the Spades' 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade. Sources said that it assured her that the tragedy was not her fault.
Officially, however, authorities were not permitted to release the contents of the letter. There is no official word on how long Spade may have been dead before she was found, and a medical examiner is expected to conduct a full autopsy to be sure.
Spade shot to the top of the fashion world in the early 90s. With little experience or infrastructure behind her, she and her husband launched the Kate Spade New York brand. Her handbags instantly became the must-have item in the fashion world, and before long they were running an international empire.
In 2007, Kate and Andy Spade sold their ownership stake in the company. A few years later, Kate Spade candidly told reporters from PEOPLE that she simply wanted to raise her daughter.
"I needed a break and I really wanted to raise my daughter," she said in 2016. "People asked me, 'Don't you miss it?' I really didn't. I mean, I loved what I was doing, but I didn't miss it as much as I thought I might."
Still, Kate Spade New York posted a tribute on the company's official Twitter account.
"Kate Spade, the visionary founder of our brand, has passed," it read. "Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly heartbreaking time. We honor all the beauty she brought into this world."
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).