Celebrity fashion designer Kate Spade was found in her New York City apartment Tuesday dead of an apparent suicide. She was 55 years old.
A source with New York Police Department told CNN that the famed designer hanged herself with a scarf. NYPD would only confirm that a call came in around 10:30 a.m. and that a suicide note was found.
In 1993, Spade started a small label called Kate Spade New York and opened up a shop in the city three years later, according to the company website. The company eventually opened 140 retail shops throughout the United States, with 175 stores worldwide.
“Debuting with just six silhouettes, she combined sleek, utilitarian shapes and colorful palettes in an entirely new way,” the site said of her colorful handbags.
She gained notoriety when her handbags started appearing on the arms of celebrities.
“I grew up in the Midwest, where you have to have it (a fashion item) because you like it, not because you’re supposed to have it,” Spade told The Associated Press in 2004. “For our customers, fashion is in the right place in their life. It’s an adornment, not an obsession.”
“Although Kate has not been affiliated with the brand for more than a decade, she and her husband and creative partner, Andy, were the founders of our beloved brand,” a statement from Kate Spade New York read. “Kate will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time.”
She is survived by her husband of 24 years, Andy, and her daughter Frances Beatrix Spade.