UPDATE (June 7, 2018, 11:33 A.M.): Kate's husband, Andy Spade, addressed several reports about the late fashion designer in an interview with The New York Times, via PEOPLE, including reports that they were having marital problems and reports about her state of mind at the time of her suicide, which was confirmed by the medical examiner. “Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years,” he said. “She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives. We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy,” Andy said. “There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.”
He added, “Kate was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the kindest person I’ve ever known and my best friend for 35 years. My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her.”
In the wake of her passing, tributes continue to pour in, including one from Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour: “Kate Spade had an enviable gift for understanding exactly what women the world over wanted to carry. She launched her label at a time when everyone thought that the definition of a handbag was strictly European, all decades-old serious status and wealth. Then along came this thoroughly American young woman who changed everything. There was a moment when you couldn’t walk a block in New York without seeing one of her bags, which were just like her; colorful and unpretentious. Kate designed with great charm and humor, and built a global empire that reflected exactly who she was and how she lived. Long before we talked about ‘authenticity’, she defined it.”
The original story continues below:
On June 5, Kate Spade was found dead of apparent suicide in her New York City apartment. As the shocking news spread, Bravolebs took to social media to speak out about the death and what the designer and brand meant to them.
Bethenny Frankel took to Twitter to express her sadness. In a series of tweets, Bethenny shared some thoughts about depression.
David Spade, the designer's brother in law, also shared a touching post:
Actress Rachel Brosnahan, Kate Spade's niece and the star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, remembered her late aunt with a touching video:
More celebrities expressed their disbelief and grief:
The late icon's older sister Reta Saffo spoke to The Kansas City Star about how she perceived the designer's mental condition. In an email, Saffo confessed that her sister's suicide "was not unexpected by me."
Saffo wrote: "I'd flown out to Napa and NYC several times in the past 3-4 years to help her to get the treatment she needed (inpatient hospitalization). She was always a very excitable little girl and I felt all the stress/pressure of her brand (KS) may have flipped the switch where she eventually became full-on manic depressive."
She went on to explain: "I'd come so VERY close to getting her to go in for treatment (to the same place Catherine Zeta-Jones went for her successful bipolar treatment program). I'd spoken with them on the phone (not telling them exactly who the patient would be). They agreed to fly in and talk with her and take her with them to the treatment center. She was all set to go — but then chickened out by morning. I even said I (would) go with her and be a 'patient' too (she liked that idea). I said we could talk about it all — our childhood, etc. That I could help her fill in any blanks she might have ... That seemed to make her more comfortable, and we'd get sooo close to packing her bags, but — in the end, the 'image' of her brand (happy-go-lucky Kate Spade) was more important for her to keep up. She was definitely worried about what people would say if they found out."
Chillingly, Saffo added: "One of the last things she said to me was, 'Reta, I know you hate funerals and don't attend them, but for me would you PLEASE come to MINE, at least. Please!' I know she perhaps had a plan, but she insisted she did not."