Kate Spade, the visionary founder of the eponymous brand, passed away of an apparent suicide on June 5, 2018. She was 55 years old and left behind a legacy of style, elegance, and creativity. Her death also sparked curiosity among many people who wondered how she was related to David Spade, the actor and comedian known for his roles in Saturday Night Live, Tommy Boy, and Joe Dirt.
The Spade Family Connection
The answer is simple: Kate Spade was married to David Spade’s brother, Andy Spade. The two met while they were both students at Arizona State University in the 1980s. Kate, whose maiden name was Katherine Noel Brosnahan, was working as a saleswoman at a clothing store when she met Andy, who was working at an advertising agency. They started dating and moved to New York City together after graduation.
The Birth of a Brand
In New York, Kate worked as an accessories editor at Mademoiselle magazine, where she noticed a gap in the market for stylish and functional handbags. She decided to quit her job and start her own company with Andy, who became her business partner and creative director. They launched Kate Spade New York in 1993 with a collection of six sleek and colorful bags that quickly became popular among fashionistas and celebrities.
The brand expanded to include clothing, shoes, jewelry, eyewear, stationery, fragrances, and home goods. Kate Spade New York became synonymous with chic, playful, and sophisticated design. The company also opened more than 300 stores worldwide and earned numerous awards and accolades. In 1999, Kate and Andy sold a majority stake of their company to Neiman Marcus Group for $33.6 million. In 2006, they sold the remaining shares for $59 million and left the company.
The Spade Siblings
David Spade, who is two years younger than Andy, was also pursuing his career in entertainment. He started doing stand-up comedy in college and moved to Los Angeles to join the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1990. He became famous for his sarcastic and witty persona and his impressions of celebrities such as Tom Petty, Michael J. Fox, and Brad Pitt. He also starred in several movies and TV shows, such as Just Shoot Me!, Rules of Engagement, Grown Ups, and The Do-Over.
David was close to his sister-in-law Kate and often praised her work and personality. In a 2015 interview with Esquire magazine, he recalled how Kate had helped his father, who he called Scrammy, by giving him clothes and accessories from her brand. He also said that Kate was “fucking funny” and had a great sense of humor.
The Tragic End
Kate Spade’s death shocked the world and saddened her family and friends. She was found dead in her apartment on Park Avenue in New York City by her housekeeper. She had hanged herself with a scarf tied to a doorknob and left a note addressed to her 13-year-old daughter Frances Beatrix Spade. The note reportedly read: “Bea – I have always loved you. This is not your fault. Ask Daddy!”
According to sources close to the family, Kate had been suffering from depression and anxiety for years and had been seeking treatment. She had also been estranged from Andy for about 10 months before her death. Andy later released a statement confirming their separation but denying any rumors of divorce or infidelity . He also said that he was “appalled” by the media’s invasion of their privacy and that he was “heartbroken” by Kate’s death.
David Spade also expressed his grief on social media . He posted a picture of him with Kate at his book signing event and wrote: “Katy at my book signing. I love this pic of her. 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.” He also shared another photo of Kate smiling at a Christmas party and wrote: “We had so much fun that day. She was so sharp and quick on her feet. She could make me laugh so hard.”
The Legacy Lives On
Kate Spade’s death raised awareness about mental health issues and suicide prevention . Many people shared their stories of how Kate’s designs had inspired them or brightened their lives . Celebrities such as Chelsea Clinton, Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, Reese Witherspoon, Anna Kendrick, Olivia Munn, Lucy Hale, Jenna Bush Hager, Ivanka Trump, and Michelle Obama paid tribute to Kate on social media or wore her creations in her honor .
Kate Spade New York also issued a statement on Twitter saying: “Kate Spade, the visionary founder of our brand, has passed away. Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly heartbreaking time. We honor all the beauty she brought into this world.” The company also announced that it would donate $1 million to mental health organizations in Kate’s memory .
Kate Spade’s legacy lives on through her brand, her family, and her fans. She will always be remembered as a fashion icon, a loving mother, a supportive sister-in-law, and a brilliant woman who made the world a more colorful and joyful place.