The suicide of fashion designer Kate Spade is just one of the latest in an unexplainable series of tragedies to overtake the fashion world. In the past eight years, three notable designers have sadly taken their own lives by hanging.
CNN reported that other than Spade, two other celebrity designers have committed suicide by hanging in just under 10 years: Alexander McQueen in 2010 and L’Wren Scott in 2014.
In 2010, Alexander McQueen hanged himself in the closet of his London apartment. He left a suicide note, but the contents of what it said were never revealed to the public. At the young age of 40, a heartbroken McQueen, who dressed big-name stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman, killed himself just nine days after his mother’s passing.
It was later revealed that McQueen died of asphyxia and hanging. CNN reported that the designer, who was known for his bad-boy persona, did nothing to dissuade the media from embracing his bad-boy image, which was sealed when he allegedly embroidered a suit for the Prince of Wales with profanity sewn into the lining.
Designer L’Wren Scott was found dead in her New York City apartment in March 2014 at the age of 49. Officials ruled her death a suicide. L’Wren was in a long-term relationship with singer Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones, and the couple had been together for 10 years until her death.
Scott designed clothing for the likes of Nicole Kidman, Christina Hendricks, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Madonna. She also designed many of the looks her beloved Mick sported for the Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary Tour, according to CNN. Scott was also a costume designer for the films Diabolique and Mercy.
The death of Kate Spade on June 5 shocked the fashion industry after she was found by her housekeeper at her New York home, having hanged herself with a scarf she reportedly tied to a doorknob. Spade left a suicide note, but its contents were not revealed to the public as of press time.
Spade made her fortune in the fashion business by designing handbags. She noted in an interview with NPR that being a handbag designer was not the career she longed for; it happened by chance.
“Andy [Spade’s husband] and I were out, honestly, at a Mexican restaurant. I was thinking that the next logical step in my career would be a senior fashion editor. And he just said, ‘what about handbags?’ And I said, ‘honey, you just don’t start a handbag company.’ And he said, ‘why not? How hard can it be?'” she quipped.
She began her career in 1993 and her designs soon took off.
Spade is survived by her husband Andy, the older brother of actor David Spade. The couple shares a daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade, who is 13-years-old.
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.