Kate Spade’s suicide note was reportedly discovered by her housekeeper, appearing to confirm reports that Spade took her own life and leaving many searching for clues as to why the world-renowned designer may have taken her life.
Spade was found dead on Tuesday in her New York apartment, with TMZ reporting that police were called to her Park Avenue apartment just after 10:20 a.m. ET. Police have released some details about Spade’s suicide, saying that she was found hanging by a scarf in her home. As CBS News noted, authorities noted that the suicide note was found at the scene but did not disclose its contents.
The mystery around her death has led to questions of whether Spade left any potential warning signs. While Kate Spade did not seem to reveal any struggles with mental health, the designer was frequently open about the stresses of balancing a career and a family.
In an interview with The Cut in 2016, Spade said she took an incredibly disciplined and organized approach to her work, rising at 6:30 a.m. every day to start her busy days.
Spade also mentioned that she also put plenty of effort into staying healthy.
“If I run, I’m much healthier — I run on a treadmill,” she revealed. “I used to do the park, but I prefer to walk around the reservoir, so when I want to run, I take to my treadmill down in the basement. It kind of helps me get all this stuff out. I listen to this loud music. I listen to the Rolling Stones and the Jackson 5 a lot and it makes me faster.”
But Spade also revealed that it was often a challenge to juggle her career and home life. Kate and her husband had previously sold the Kate Spade brand and took a leave from the industry for nearly a decade to raise their daughter.
“Being a mother adds an enormous amount of stress to your life,” she told The Cut. “You need to make sure you’re there for everything. We don’t have other people to do it for us — I want to make sure I’m there. When you’re trying to be a parent and a businessperson at the same time, that is the most stressful thing you could do. I can luckily bolt out when I need to.”
Police say Kate Spade hung herself and a suicide note was found. Officials say housekeeping staff found the fashion designer hanging inside her Park Avenue apartment Tuesday. https://t.co/LlTs8GFW52
— CBSDFW (@CBSDFW) June 5, 2018
While many of Kate Spade’s fans expressed shock at her apparent suicide as she had never been known to suffer mental health issues, others noted that it is a reminder that there are many people suffering in silence.
Mental health issues do not discriminate. By all accounts, Kate Spade “had it all”-money, success, fame. None of these things matter when you are sick. Kate was not selfish. Kate was not weak. Kate was sick. #MentalHealthMatters https://t.co/vuJ1mddwng
— Trenni Kusnierek (@trenni) June 5, 2018
Mental health knows no economic boundaries, and your "Kate Spade was rich, what did she have to be sad about?" takes have no place here.
REMINDER: National Suicide Prevention Hotline number (1-800-273-8255)
— Sophie Vershbow (@svershbow) June 5, 2018
Kate Spade, L'Wren Scott, and Alexander McQueen all took their own lives. We really need to address mental health in fashion.
— Nadra Nittle (@NadraKareem) June 5, 2018
Others noted that Kate Spade is one of a number of prominent members of the fashion community to commit suicide, prompting calls for the industry to better address mental health issues.
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.