We were distraught by the news of Kate Spade’s passing. Kate made an irreversible impact on the world of fashion, and in interior design as well.  Our thoughts are with her family at this time, and we mourn along with millions all over the world as we reflect on her legacy. Her designs were bold, bright, and colorful, bringing magic and whimsy to all those who saw them.

Kate Spade was inarguably a fashion and design icon of the 20th century. Kate grew up in the 1960s and 1970s and studied journalism in college. While working as the Senior Fashion Editor and Head of Accessories for Mademoiselle magazine, she became frustrated by the over-bulky handbags of the 1990s and wanted to create a more minimal and stylish option. In 1993 she launched her own brand of handbags and opened a small boutique in New York City. Kate paved the way for many businesswomen and inspired them to create their own fashion lines.

Pieces from the Kate Spade Home Collection

Kate Spade took magnificently simple shapes and designs, a modern and sleek look along with pops of color to create a brand that would rise to become a cultural phenomenon. For many young women, receiving their first Kate Spade bag was a coming-of-age moment and a first step into adulthood. While the handbags were stylish and upscale, they were still reasonably affordable, allowing more women to embrace the brand.

While Kate sold 56% of her business to the Neiman Marcus group in 1999 for $34 million, the brand grew to include other fashion items including clothing, eyewear, shoes, china, towels, home goods and paper goods as well. Always a forward-thinking fashion brand, it was one of the first to dive into the world of e-commerce in 2004. After Neiman Marcus bought the entire Kate Spade brand in 2006, they sold to Liz Claiborne, and now the brand is owned by Coach parent company Tapestry, which purchased it along with the rest of Liz Claiborne for $2.4 billion in 2017.

Behind Kate Spade’s cute and quirky image was a business mind that understood the opportunities in building a lifestyle brand. She helped millions of women bring out their playful side, inspiring them to feel strong and confident. There’s no doubt that Kate’s design legacy will continue to be seen for years to come, and her aesthetic will live on forever.