Designer Kate Spade was found dead in her New York City apartment this morning of an apparent suicide. She was 55 years old.
The New York Times reported that a housekeeper found her hanging from a red scarf tied to a doorknob in her bedroom. A note was said to have been found, but its contents have not yet been revealed.
She is survived by her husband of 24 years, Andy Spade, and their 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade.
As soon as news of this tragedy broke, many of her famous friends and fans, and companies that she worked with, began posting tributes to her on social media.
“Kate Spade’s tragic passing is a painful reminder that we never truly know another’s pain or the burden they carry,” said president Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump on Twitter. “If you are struggling with depression, and contemplating suicide, please, please seek help.”
Meanwhile, also on Twitter, former first daughter Chelsea Clinton said, “My 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.”
Singer Josh Groban shared the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, on Twitter and said, “Depression does not discriminate and comes without warning. RIP Kate Spade. Love to her family.”
Fellow designer Kenneth Cole tweeted the quote, “I believed that I could, so I did.” He added, “She alone didn’t change the handbag world but she was an inspiring accessory.”
Beloved designer Kate Spade has died at the age of 55. In her 2002 Glamour Women of the Year interview, Spade said: "I hope that people remember me not just as a good businesswoman but as a great friend—and a heck of a lot of fun." Our hearts go out to Kate's family. ???? pic.twitter.com/Tyt2T2Qslx
— Glamour (@glamourmag) June 5, 2018
“Poor [Kate Spade] to be in so much pain,” said Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel on Twitter. “Success doesn’t make you happy. True love & peace does.”
Ramona Singer, another RHONYC cast member, tweeted, “Saddened by the news of the passing of Kate Spade. Such an iconic woman.”
Kate Spade & her brand have always been so kind to me the past couple years & I’m crushed to hear about her passing. Suicide isn’t “the easy way out” and shouldn’t be mocked. My heart goes out to her family & team today ????????
— Tess Holliday ???? (@Tess_Holliday) June 5, 2018
On Twitter, designer Liz Lange shared a news article on Spade’s passing and said, “The nicest woman, the first person to compliment me on Liz Lange Maternity when I first started. And the creator of the most iconic brand. I am heart broken by this news.”
Broadway actress and singer Jessica Vosk tweeted, “Shocked to hear of Kate Spade’s passing. She was a pioneer for women’s fashion, and to the outside world, a success in every way. But mental illness does not discriminate. No matter who you are. If you ever feel alone, know there is ALWAYS help. Love you.”
Very saddened to hear about the passing of Kate Spade. Mental illness does not discriminate and can happen to anyone with any circumstances. I hope she has found peace ❤️
— Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) June 5, 2018
The CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) expressed its sorrow in a post on its official website. “The CFDA is devastated to hear the news of our friend, colleague, and CFDA member Kate Spade’s tragic passing,” said the CFDA. “She was a great talent who had an immeasurable impact on American fashion and the way the world viewed American accessories.
“We want to honor her life and her major contribution to the fashion business, and express our most sincere condolences to the family,” ended the letter, which was signed by board chairperson Diane von Furstenberg and president/CEO Steven Kolb.
Kate Spade was more than a designer. She had a quirky visual language that captivated Bat Mitzvah girls and artists alike. She was also a staple of NYC who spread good will. My heart breaks for her family. Thank you, Kate, from one of the millions you made feel beautiful.
— ???? Lena Dunham ???? (@lenadunham) June 5, 2018
“Kate Spade and Co donated handbags to our scholars, so they’d show up at their internships looking great and feeling great,” said TV journalist Soledad O’Brien on Twitter. “They always downplayed their gift, and maybe this sounds silly, but it was a big deal for our young women to show up to an important gig with a great bag.”
Songwriter Diane Warren tweeted, “Depression hits anyone any time it doesn’t care how successful U r, how rich U r, how outwardly happy U may seem to b. RIP Kate Spade. What sad [expletive] news.”
I loved @katespadeny’s beautiful and whimsical fashions. So sad. Prayers to her family.
— Savannah Guthrie (@SavannahGuthrie) June 5, 2018
“So sad to hear about Kate Spade,” said The Princess Diaries author Meg Cabot on Twitter. “I’ve bought so many of her lovely things for myself and others over the years. I hate that she was in such pain. If you’re ever in that dark of a head space, PLEASE go somewhere safe and ask for help.”
I will never forget the first Kate Spade bag I got for Christmas in college. She was a trailblazer. Her life and death are a reminder that pain doesn’t discriminate. Sending love to her family.
— Jenna Bush Hager (@JennaBushHager) June 5, 2018
Political commentator Glenn Beck added his two cents on Twitter. “The death of [Kate Spade] is so terribly sad,” he said. “It makes no sense unless you have lived it, then you know that death seems ‘logical.’ IT IS NOT. I know it seems like you are trapped, and you just want it to stop. It can. IT WILL. I KNOW. Call for help right now. #lifeisworthit.”
Kate Spade taught me about how colorful life can be. She was an inspiration to so many, and she will be missed so greatly. We lost an iconic woman today, Rest in Peace, Kate Spade ❤️ @katespadeny pic.twitter.com/ni9pQK47Jl
— Jeannie Mai (@jeanniemai) June 5, 2018
Her brother-in-law, actor David Spade, has yet to comment.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.