Kate Spade dead at 55 – Fashion designer found hanged at New York flat after ‘leaving suicide note to 13-year-old daughter’
Spade leaves behind husband of 24 years Andy – actor David Spade’s brother – and daughter Frances Beatrix who was in school at the time.
Her husband is reported to have been in the flat, at 850 Park Avenue on the Upper East Side, when the housekeeper found her body, reports claim.
As medical examiners were seen entering the apartment block where the Kansas City-born designer lived, the rich and famous have been paying tribute to the fashion icon.
Chelsea Clinton, 38, tweeted: “My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kate’s family, friends and loved ones in my heart.”
And Ivanka Trump, 36, wrote: “Kate Spade’s tragic passing is a painful reminder that we never truly know another’s pain or the burden they carry.”
Journalist Guy Raz, who featured Spade on the How I Built This podcast last year, said he was “totally shocked” to hear of her death.
Model Tess Holliday tweeted: “Kate Spade & her brand have always been so kind to me the past couple years & I’m crushed to hear about her passing.”
In a 2002 Glamour Women of the Year interview, Spade told the magazine how she wanted to be remembered.
“I hope that people remember me not just as a good businesswoman but as a great friend,” she said. “And a heck of a lot of fun.”
Spade met her husband while they were working together in a clothing store in Phoenix, Arizona, at university.
The launched Kate Spade Handbags in 1993, initially selling handbags before expanding to include clothing, jewellery, bedding, legwear and fragrances.
It became one of the biggest names in female accessories, and stars including the Duchess of Cambridge, Anne Hathaway and Taylor Swift have been pictured with her handbags.