Kate Spade’s Devotion To Her Daughter Trumped Fashion, Designer Took Off A Decade To Raise Frances Beatrix

Bryan BedderGetty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Kate Spade was one of the biggest names in fashion when she made an unorthodox decision — she would be disappearing from the scene entirely to focus on raising her daughter.

The 55-year-old’s sudden death this week has thrown a spotlight on her family and the lengths that Spade took to care for her daughter. As Moneyish reported in a 2016 profile of Spade, she and her husband took off nearly a decade to raise their daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade. She even parted with the incredibly lucrative Kate Spade brand to do it.

Spade said it was the right decision, even as she was losing her “name” in the fashion industry. The designer told Moneyish that she would not trade the time she had with her daughter “in a million years.”

Though the decision could have cost Kate Spade a fortune as she and her husband sold the namesake brand at a time when it was at its peak, she was proud of her role as a mom.

“I’ve been class mom,” Spade proudly told the Wall Street Journal in 2016.

During her time away from the fashion industry, Kate Spade went from a name on the most popular handbags to the mom focused on raising her daughter. As Moneyish noted, Kate stopped thinking about fashion entirely.

“Most of the time, she only thinks about Kate Spade when her 12-year-old asks why there are shoes with her mom’s name in them,” the report noted.

When her daughter was 11, Kate Spade made a comeback to the fashion industry with Frances Valentine, which sold Italian-made accessories. The Wall Street Journal noted that the line is “more sophisticated — and more expensive” than Kate’s previous efforts, and she earned praise for her work with the line.

But even amid her return, Kate Spade’s priorities remained her husband and daughter. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Kate said she started every day with a special meal for the daughter she affectionately referred to as Bea.

“Smoothies,” she said when asked about her favorite breakfast. “I do kale, all that silly stuff. I have the NutriBullet. I make [my daughter’s] first so she doesn’t taste all of the greens. I make hers with bananas, strawberries, I throw yogurt in for the protein.”

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Kate Spade’s family had not yet issued a statement in the wake of her sudden death on Tuesday. Reports indicated that the 55-year-old designer took her life.


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