Kate Spade's Frances Valentine Brand Posts Instagram Memorial to Late Founder

Kate Spade's latest fashion venture, Frances Valentine, posted a heartfelt tribute to her after her passing on Tuesday.

Spade was best known for her Kate Spade New York brand. She sold the company in 2006 to focus on her family, and in 2016, she returned to the industry with a whole new set of products under the name Frances Valentine. The younger company posted a tribute to its founder on Instagram on Wednesday afternoon.

(Photo: Instagram @fvalentineny)

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and founder, Kate Valentine Spade," it read, "who will remain in our hearts forever."

Spade gave in interview with WWD in 2015, where she explained the origin and the ideas behind her newest venture.

"Frances is a longtime family name on my dad's side," she explained. "My grandfather, father, brother and my daughter's name is Frances. And then Valentine was my mom's dad's middle name because he was born on Valentine's Day."

"There were a lot of things we made up and we thought that wasn't feeling right," said her husband and collaborator, Andy Spade. "A person's name felt like this thing that was part of us, that connection, something real."

The Spades were joined on the project by Elyce Arons, who helped them found their original company in 1993. The company had a few similarities to Kate Spade New York — including the fact that it started with just handbags and shoes, a relatively limited line considering the Spades' resources. However, Spade told reporters at the time that she felt she wasn't so different from the woman who founded that company in the 90s.

"I can't say that I'm a different person than I was when I left. It's not like I went away for eight years and I came back and I'm suddenly Rick Owens. That didn't happen," she said.

Kate Spade New York issued a statement on Spade's passing as well.

"Kate Spade, the visionary founder of our brand, has passed," read a company statement on Twitter. "Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly heartbreaking time. We honor all the beauty she brought into this world."


On Wednesday, all Kate Spade New York advertising online will cease temporarily. The company's social media platforms and website will consist entirely of the above tribute to its founder. On top of that, sources at the company told PEOPLE that all the merchandise and advertisements will be removed from storefronts, replaced with massive posted-sized prints of the tribute to Spade.