Fashion Designer Kate Spade Found Dead of Apparent Suicide

NEW YORK - JUNE 7: Designer Kate Spade attends the "2004 CFDA Fashion Awards" at the New York Public Library June 7, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead of an apparent suicide in her New York City apartment, police announced Tuesday.

A housekeeper found Spade, 55, dead at 10:20 a.m. Tuesday at her home on 850 Park Avenue in Manhattan, CBS New York reports.

The New York Post’s PageSix reports that Spade hanged herself with a scarf tied to a doorknob and officials pronounced her dead at the scene.

The fashion designer also left a note, the report says.

A housekeeper found Spade unconscious and called 911, police said. Police said Spade’s husband was at the apartment when she took her life. Spade is survived by her husband, Andy, and their daughter, 13-year-old Frances Beatrix Spade. The late fashion designer is also survived by her brother-in-law actor David Spade and her niece Rachel Brosnahan, who stars in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Spade, born Kate Brosnahan in December 1962 in Kansas City, was a pioneering fashion designer known for launching her “Kate Spade” line of chic handbags in the 1990s.

The beloved designer started the Kate Spade accessories brand with her husband in 1993, but sold the fashion line to Neiman Marcus in two installments. The pair sold the majority of their stake in the company to Neiman Marcus in 1999 for about $34 million, and sold the rest of their company to the luxury department store in 2006 for an additional $59 million. Coach acquired the Kate Spade brand in 2017.

The Kate Spade Twitter account acknowledged its founder’s passing, while celebrities and political figures offered their condolences.


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