Kate Spade

December 24, 1962 – June 5, 2018

Kate Brosnahan Spade was a journalism major who worked for Mademoiselle magazine after graduating from college. In 1993, she and her fiancé launched a fashion line by selling handbags from their New York City apartment. Kate Spade New York became a successful brand that relied on simple designs, cheerful patterns and vibrant colors that contrasted many of the darker and more serious brands of the time. The more affordable bags appealed to younger professional customers and became instantly popular.

Kate eventually branched her designs into clothing, fragrances, shoes and other accessories and an empire was born. Kate Spade New York stores opened all over the world, including specialty home and bedding stores and a men’s fashion line. Kate’s motto “Live Colorfully” was evident in all of her designs.  A majority of the company was purchased in 1999 by Neiman Marcus Group, and then Liz Claiborne acquired the full company in 2006. Spade stepped away after the company sold to focus on her daughter and her issues with depression and anxiety – which she did not publicly disclose. But, she continued to work, launching a new line under the name Frances Valentine.

Though her family knew about her mental health struggles, they – as well as the rest of the world – were completely blindsided by Spade’s suicide in 2018. The visionary designer and fashion mogul was 55.

Burial

Calvary Cemetery – Kansas City, MO

Specific Location

Block 7 – Enter the cemetery and turn right at the flag. Continue straight on this road until it turns back north, then stop shortly before it dead-ends at a small circle of grass in the road. Block 7 is on your left and Kate is buried just behind a marker with the name KAVORINOS on it.

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