New York Daily News reports that Spade was found by her housekeeper in her home on Park Ave. near E. 77th St. at about 10:20 a.m. Police sources say the 55-year-old hung herself in an apparent suicide. She was pronounced dead on the scene.
According to the Associated Press, law enforcement officials say Spade left a note at the scene. Officials have not been authorized to divulge details of an ongoing investigation, and claimed they didn’t know what the note said. TMZ reports the note was addressed to Spade's 13-year-old daughter.
Kate Spade New York, the fashion business named after Spade, currently has more than 140 retail shops and around the U.S., and more than 175 worldwide.
The iconic designer was born Katherine Brosnahan in Kansas City in December 1962. She graduated from Arizona State University with a degree of journalism in 1985. Spade began her career in the late '80s working for the women’s magazine Mademoiselle in Manhattan. She launched Kate Spade handbags in 1993 with her partner at the time Andy Spade, brother of the comedian David Spade. The two married in 1994.
Her business eventually grew from purses and handbags into a full-scale clothing and jewelry line. Spade sold her company in 2007. In 2016, she launched a new U.S. brand named after her daughter Frances Valentine, who is now 13 years old.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.