Kate Spade Company Donating $1 Million for Suicide Prevention

Kate Spade New York announced on Wednesday that it will donate over $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health awareness after the death of its founder, designer Kate Spade, on June 5.

The company wrote on Instagram that its foundation would begin with a $250,000 donation to the Crisis Text Line, a nonprofit that provides free crisis support. The foundation will also match all public donations to the nonprofit between June 20 and June 29 up to $100,000.

"Kate Spade was a true fashion icon who brought joy to the lives of women around the world and inspired women to live life to the fullest. We are dedicated to carrying on her legacy," Anna Bakst, the CEO of Kate Spade New York, said in a statement to ABC News.

"The outpouring of love on social media and in our shops from customers of all ages has been overwhelming and moving," she added. "It is such a beautiful reflection of how much Kate was loved."

Spade co-founded the company in 1993 with her husband, Andy Spade, instantly becoming a darling of the fashion world with her structured and sleek bags and playful aesthetic. Her company has since become a household name, though she sold her shares in 2006 to focus on raising her daughter, Frances Beatrix.

In 2016, Spade launched Frances Valentine, a luxury handbag company, even changing her name publicly to Kate Valentine to match the company.

The designer was found dead in her New York City apartment by housekeeping staff, and her death was officially ruled a suicide on June 7 by the New York City medical examiner. Spade's funeral is scheduled for Thursday at 3 p.m. in Kansas City, Missouri, where the 55-year-old was born.

After her death, Kate Spade New York released a statement mourning the designer's passing.

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

The company is planning a Global Mental Health Awareness Day for employees in corporate and regional offices as the first step of a Wellness Program which it will introduce in the coming months, WWD reports. Kate Spade New York's goal is to "generate greater awareness of mental health, call attention to the common risks and warning signs, and encourage effective interventions and treatments for those in need."


Photo Credit: Getty / Boston Globe