Fashion designer Kate Spade, who loved her Kansas City roots, was found dead Tuesday
The news that designer Kate Spade was found dead Tuesday morning in her New York City apartment in an apparent suicide sent waves of disbelief, shock and sorrow through the fashion world and the legions of fans of her iconic handbags and accessories.
"I’m wearing my Kate Spade shoes, holding my Kate Spade Phone, with my Kate Spade Briefcase and Kate Spade purse. Rest In Peace Kate. You made the world a more beautiful place," tweeted one fan.
Authorities said housekeeping staff found the designer hanging in her Park Avenue apartment at about 10:20 a.m., according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Kansas City native, who had changed her name to Kate Valentine, was 55 and was known to keep close ties to her hometown.
Police, who would not disclose details of an ongoing investigation, did say she left a note at the scene. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
As the news broke, fans reached into their closets and began posting photos of their Kate Spade purses, Barbies and other accessories on Twitter. Spade sold her company in 2007 and took time off to raise her daughter, She started a new accessories company in 2016 called Frances Valentine, named after her daughter.
Fans wrote of how simply owning something with Kate Spade's name on it was special.
"Just looking at Kate Spade items made me feel happier when I was at my worst," tweeted one fan. "They felt like they were filled with joy, and always managed to bring colour into my world."
Her followers posted some of the witty quotes the Kate Spade brand is known for.
The fashion world contemplated the loss of one of its own.
Celebrities publicly grieved as well, some sending condolences to Spade's brother-in-law, comedian David Spade.
According to Hollywood Life, Alyssa Milano was in the middle of an interview on MSNBC when the news broke, and she teared up upon hearing the news. She was reportedly wearing Kate Spade at the time.
Chelsea Clinton tweeted that her "grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kate’s family, friends and loved ones in my heart."
The way Spade died moved many to talk about mental illness and, more specifically, where people who are suffering can find help.