On Tuesday fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead by apparent suicide. Fans and fashionistas were shocked to hear the news that the 55-year-old designer has passed. Her struggles with mental illness were unknown to the public and reminded everyone that you never know what one person is going through. Her sister, niece and actress Rachel Brosnahan, brother-in-law and comedian David Spade and more family have spoken out about her passing.
David honored Kate with heartfelt posts. “Fuzzy picture but I love it,” the comedian wrote. “Kate and I during Christmas family photos. We had so much fun that day. She was so sharp and quick on her feet. She could make me laugh so hard. I still can’t believe it. It’s a rough world out there people, try to hang on.”
Kate married David’s brother, Andy Spade in 1994. The two were married for roughly 24 years. He and his wife were the co-founders of Kate Spade.
David also tweeted a photo of him and Kate at one of his book signings. “Katy at my book signing. I love this pic of her,” he wrote. “So pretty. I don’t think everyone knew how fucking funny she was… It’s a rough world out there people. Try to hang on.”
Kate’s niece Rachel spoke out about the passing of her late aunt on Instagram. She shared a video of Kate dancing along to a mariachi band. “Knowing Katy, this is how she would want to be remembered,” The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel actress wrote. “She had a light that words can’t capture but touched everyone she came into contact with. She was exceedingly kind, beautifully sensitive, insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known. She was effervescent. Hug your loved ones extra tight today.”
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Knowing Katy, this is how she would want to be remembered. She had a light that words can’t capture but touched everyone she came into contact with. She was exceedingly kind, beautifully sensitive, insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known. She was effervescent. Hug your loved ones extra tight today.
Rachel’s mom, Eve Brosnahan is Kate’s sister. Eve told the Daily News, “It’s very difficult,” through tears. She wasn’t able to say much more. Kate’s other sister Reta Brosnahan Saffo spoke out about Kate and her struggle with mental illness.
“I will say this was not unexpected by me,” Saffo wrote to the Daily News. I’d flown out to Napa and NYC several times in the past 3-4 years to help her to get the treatment she needed (inpatient hospitalization). She was always a very excitable little girl and I felt all the stress/pressure of her brand (KS) may have flipped the switch where she eventually became full-on manic depressive.”
“The signs were all there and I tried to help her for so long,” she told BuzzFeed over the phone. “I’m not blaming myself — if I just could have been more successful. I was almost there.”
Saffo wrote to the Daily News that the image of the Kate Spade brand was so “happy-go-lucky” that she felt like she had to maintain that image as well.
“We are all devastated by today’s tragedy,” her family said in a statement after news about her death broke. “We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly. We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.”
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Kate Spade’s husband, Andy Spade released a statement to the New York Times about her death.
Kate was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the kindest person I’ve ever known and my best friend for 35 years. My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her. We are deeply heartbroken and miss her already.
Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives. We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.
For the past 10 months we had been living separately, but within a few blocks of each other. Bea was living with both of us and we saw each other or spoke every day. We ate many meals together as a family and continued to vacation together as a family. Our daughter was our priority. We were not legally separated, and never even discussed divorce. We were best friends trying to work through our problems in the best way we knew how. We were together for 35 years. We loved each other very much and simply needed a break.
This is the truth. Anything else that is out there right now is false. She was actively seeking help for depression and anxiety over the last 5 years, seeing a doctor on a regular basis and taking medication for both depression and anxiety. There was no substance or alcohol abuse. There were no business problems. We loved creating our businesses together. We were co-parenting our beautiful daughter. I have yet to see any note left behind and am appalled that a private message to my daughter has been so heartlessly shared with the media.
My main concern is Bea and protecting her privacy as she deals with the unimaginable grief of losing her mother. Kate loved Bea so very much.