Kate Spade, Iconic Fashion Designer, Dead at 55

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Kate Spade, an iconic fashion designer, died on Tuesday in New York City. She was 55.

The NYPD confirms to ET that Spade was found dead in her Manhattan apartment of an apparent suicide, and her body was discovered by an individual that was employed by her. The NYPD also confirms that Spade left a suicide note and the method of suicide was hanging.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Spade (maiden name: Brosnahan) attended the University of Kansas and later transferred to Arizona State University, where she graduated with a journalism degree in 1985. She first rose to fame as a designer in the '80s, working for the accessories department of Mademoiselle magazine in New York City. She left the outlet as a senior fashion editor in 1991 to work on her own fashion projects.

In 1994, Spade married Andy Spade, the brother of actor-comedian David Spade. Together, they launched Kate Spade handbags in 1993, which later evolved into a clothing store and jewelry line. The first boutique was opened in 1996 in Manhattan's SoHo district, and there are currently over 140 Kate Spade retail shops and outlet stores across the United States and more than 175 shops internationally.

Spade sold the Kate Spade brand in 2006. She launched a new brand, Frances Valentine, in 2016, which features a collection of handbags and footwear.

In addition to her husband, Spade is survived by their only child together, 13-year-old daughter Frances Beatrix Spade.

Celebrities including Mindy Kaling, Bette Midler and Josh Groban reacted to Spade's death on Tuesday. 

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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