While many remember Kate Spade for her fashion empire, the designer hoped it wouldn’t be her only lasting legacy.
In a 2002 interview with Glamour, Spade said she wanted to be remembered for her personal attributes in addition to her business savvy.
“If you’re as honest and fair as you can be, not only in business but in life, things will work out,” she told the magazine in a recently resurfaced interview. “I hope that people remember me not just a good businesswoman but as a great friend—and a heck of a lot of fun.”
News of Spade’s death broke on Tuesday. The designer died of apparent suicide by hanging. She was 55 years old.
A law enforcement source told E! News the fashion icon’s housekeeper found Spade in the bedroom of her Park Avenue apartment. A note was found at the scene.
The New York Police Department also confirmed Spade was discovered “unconscious” and “unresponsive” and that emergency medical services pronounced her deceased at 10:26 a.m. that day.
In addition, a spokesperson for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed the death of Spade, also known as Katherine Brosnahan, and accepted her case. Per the spokesperson, a medical examiner will determine if an autopsy is needed. The cause and manner of her death are pending determination.
Several celebrities and members of the fashion community have since paid tribute to the designer on social media, including Spade’s brother-in-law David Spade. The actor posted an old photo of him and the designer on Instagram.
The designer founded her eponymous brand with Andy Spade in 1993. The two then married in 1994. According to Forbes, the couple sold 56% of their brand to Neiman Marcus in 1999 for $ 34 million and then the remaining shares to Neiman in 2006 for a reported $ 59 million. Coach completed its acquisition of the brand for $ 2.4 billion in July 2017.
The fashion icon is survived by her husband Andy and daughter Frances Beatrix Spade.