This week, the world awoke to a grim Tuesday morning with shocking news. Fashion pioneer, wife, mother, and the industry’s beloved light Kate Spade took her own life early that morning.
While details are still being released in small doses, some speculation had arisen as to Spade’s mental health. Kate’s brother Earl Brosnahan was quick to refute the gossip, saying that it was “belittling” to her health. Rumors tend to add more bunny-trails than actual truth, but her husband Andy did admit that Spade had battled depression and anxiety for many years.
A few further details have been released as to what have have been the cause of the fashion entrepreneur’s untimely death. Still, the loss is an even more bitter pill to swallow for her friends and family as they were given no warnings that Spade was planning to take her own life. Her warm smile and cheerful demeanor kept her depth of pain well-hidden.
Spade tragic passing is akin to the devastating suicide of actor and comedian Robin Williams, who loved to make the world laugh on the outside, but battled severe depression on the inside. Spade’s death also comes on the heels of the suicide epidemic, which has been spreading far too rapidly over the past year.
Spade’s death speaks strongly to the need to start paying close attention to those struggling with depression or anxiety. Often those who are deepest in it, will not always show it to those closest to them. This is proven by the fact that we often hear from those left behind that they never saw the suicide coming.
If you know someone who is going through a difficult time, remember that their pain may be far greater than they are willing to or are able to communicate. Check in with them. show them love as much as they will let you. We can’t always prevent these things from happening, but love can go such a very long way in the heart of a person who is deeply hurting.
Spade will be forever remember for her infamous designer striped handbags, which emerged on the scene first in NYC in the late 1990’s. Kate and her husband, Andy, built the business from the ground up, starting in their New York apartment with nothing but a few paper and scotch tape prototypes. The iconic bags became an instant smash and the company only grew from there. After much success, Spade sold her company shares in 2006 to take a different path. Frances Valentine, started in 2016, was Kate’s most recent project.
Kate and her husband Andy lived in Manhattan with their daughter, Bea.