How Kate Spade became a household name

Kate Spade at the 2011 VH1 Vogue Fashion Show Birthday — Cropped

The NYPD confirmed to ET that Kate, 55, was found dead in her Manhattan apartment on Tuesday and her body was discovered by an individual who was employed by her. Kate Spade New York now has more than 140 retail shops and outlets across the country and more than 175 stores internationally. A source in the police department told the news site that Spade had hanged herself. The couple, who married in 1994, have a 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade. Spade left a suicide note, but its contents were not revealed to the public as of press time.

Kate shot to fame with her designer bags which she began co-designing with her husband Andy Spade in 1993.

Since the beginning, Hall's Kansas City sold her purses and accessories. Neiman Marcus sold the Kate Spade label in 2006 for $124 million to Liz Claiborne Inc., which was later renamed to Fifth & Pacific.

Spade, then known as Kate Brosnahan, and future husband Andy Spade were on a trip to Provincetown visiting friends in 1993 when the pair chose to name their company Kate Spade, combining her first name and his last name. In 2016, they launched a new footwear and accessories brand called Frances Valentine, naming it after their daughter, who is now 13. Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly heartbreaking time.

Fashionista Molly Pickett said: "Kate Spade is a prime example you can have all the success and money in the world but you don't know what emotional battles people are fighting".

"Most women remember their first Kate Spade bag. She had a quirky visual language that captivated Bat Mitzvah girls and artists alike", Lena Dunham tweeted.

In 1986 Spade started working at the fashion magazine Mademoiselle, climbing the ladder until she became a senior fashion editor.

Kate brought joy to women who were looking for bags that were both functional and lasted a long time. My heart breaks for her family. Kate also changed her name to Kate Valentine. "Thank you, Kate, from one of the millions you made feel handsome".

Chelsea Clinton tweeted about when her "grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255".

Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former U.S. president George W. Bush wrote on Twitter: "I will never forget the first Kate Spade bag I got for Christmas in college".

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