NEW YORK • Iconic fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in her Manhattan home yesterday in an apparent suicide. She was 55.
Law enforcement officials told NBC News that she was found at her Park Avenue residence by her housekeeper at around 10.20am.
She was confirmed dead on the scene. A suicide note was reportedly found. The circumstances of her death are under investigation.
Ms Spade leaves behind her husband of 24 years Andy Spade and daughter Frances Beatrix Spade.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Ms Spade got her start in the fashion industry in the 1980s working for women's magazine Mademoiselle in Manhattan, when she was living with Mr Spade, the brother of US actor David Spade, reported TMZ.
The couple launched Kate Spade Handbags in 1993, which grew into a full-fledged clothing and jewellery line.
SOS 24-hour Hotline: 1800-221-4444
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
Institute of Mental Health: 6389-2222 (24 hours)
Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788 (for primary school-aged children)
Silver Ribbon: 6386-1928
Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800
The couple got married in 1994.
Within three years, they opened their first store and continued to grow the company for the next decade.
The company launched international and home lines by 2004, The Daily Mail reported. By that time, Ms Spade had sold of most of her company to department store Neiman Marcus.
Neiman Marcus purchased 56 per cent of the company in 1999 and the remaining 44 per cent by 2006, at which time Ms Spade left the business to raise her daughter. Last year, the brand was purchased by Coach for US$2.4 billion (S$3.2 billion).
Kate Spade New York has hundreds of stores across the US and the world, including in Singapore.
Ms Spade took time off from the fashion industry, but launched a new brand called Frances Valentine in 2016, offering a line of luxury handbags and shoes.