New York

Sources: Designer Kate Spade Found Dead In Manhattan Apartment In Apparent Suicide

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Designer Kate Spade was found dead in her Manhattan apartment on Tuesday following an apparent suicide, sources tell CBS2.

Her body was found hanging by her housekeeper at 10:20 a.m. at her home at Park Avenue and 77th Street. Born Kate Brosnahan, she achieved fame in the fashion world under the name Kate Spade.

Spade, 55, left a note, sources said.

gettyimages 470840220 Sources: Designer Kate Spade Found Dead In Manhattan Apartment In Apparent Suicide

A Kate Spade bag at the Cocktail Kate Spade New York at BHV Store on April 23, 2015 in Paris, France. (credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Kate Spade New York)

Her handbags created a huge sensation in the fashion industry in the 1990s, and her company, Kate Spade New York, had over 140 retails shops across the country and 175 internationally.

“Kate Spade, the visionary founder of our brand, has passed. Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly heartbreaking time. We honor all the beauty she brought into this world,” Kate Spade New York tweeted.

She was born in Kansas City in 1962 and went to Arizona State University where she met Andy Spade, who she eventually married and went into business with, forming the company Kate Spade New York in the early 1990s.

They started the company after she worked at the magazine Mademoiselle. It eventually grew into a global lifestyle brand.

WEB EXTRA: Kate Spade speaks with CBS2s Gail ONeill in this 1999 interview.

In a 1999 interview, she told CBS2s Gail ONeill the company started in her apartment in 1993.

“There was a lack of interesting accessories that had a personality but still very elegant and functional,” she said. “And I loved the idea of using really beautiful fabrics, and I didnt see a lot of that.”

The company started with just a few orders, and soon enough Hollywoods elite came calling, and buying her bags.

Just last year, Coach bought the Kate Spade company in a $2.4 billion deal. Spade herself had sold her remaining ownership stake years before.

In 2016, she started a brand called Frances Valentine.

News of her death prompted numerous tweets on Twitter, many urging people struggling with depression to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Kate Spades tragic passing is a painful reminder that we never truly know anothers pain or the burden they carry. If you are struggling with depression and contemplating suicide, please, please seek help. https://t.co/eruSexNoGj

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 5, 2018

“Kate Spades tragic passing is a painful reminder that we never truly know anothers pain or the burden they carry,” Ivanka Trump wrote on Twitter. “If you are struggling with depression and contemplating suicide, please, please seek help.”

My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kates family, friends and loved ones in my heart.

— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) June 5, 2018

“My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college,” tweeted Chelsea Clinton. “I still have it. Holding Kates family, friends and loved ones in my heart.”

#KateSpade, whose lively, colorful, and yes, joyous designs has died. My deepest sympathy to her family and friends, and her many fans around the world, who loved the wonderful illusions she created. I am stunned.

— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) June 5, 2018

“Kate Spade, whose lively, colorful, and yes, joyous designs has died,” wrote Bette Midler. “My deepest sympathy to her family and friends, and her many fans around the world, who loved the wonderful illusions she created. I am stunned.”

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 was more than a designer. She had a quirky visual language that captivated Bat Mitzvah girls and artists alike,” wrote Lena Dunham on Twitter. “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.”

Depression does not discriminate and comes without warning. RIP Kate Spade. Love to her family.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

— josh groban (@joshgroban) June 5, 2018

“Depression does not discriminate and comes without warning. RIP Kate Spade. Love to her family,” tweeted Josh Groban.

Editors note: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255. You can also learn more and chat with them online by clicking here.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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