It’s a weird thing to write that Kate Spade was the aunt of “Mrs. Maisel” star Rachel Brosnahan. Much as I love that show, Kate Brosnahan Spade was a superstar designer. She was found dead today at age 55 in her Park Avenue apartment after hanging herself with a scarf from a doorknob.
Obviously she must have suffered from severe depression, but what a tragedy, and a loss. Kate Spade had a 13 year old daughter named Frances, and her husband Andy, brother of actor David Spade. At least to the outside world, she had the perfect life. In 2006, she and Andy sold her company to Neiman Marcus for the remainder of the original 1999 sale for $33.6 million. Coach owns the company now. They paid $2.4 billion for it last year.
Kate Spade’s handbags and designs were marked by their ebullient, upbeat, cheerful look. Polka dots in yellow and white and other bright colors were their signature. Even her logo looked happy. There was nothing to suggest darkness around Kate Spade. According to reports she was in the middle of launching a new and already successful line called Frances Valentine.
What a shame. Mental illness remains a lurking killer. Condolences to her family and friends, and fans — of whom there are millions.