American designer Kate Spade has died at the age of 55. Law enforcement officials are investigating Spade’s death as an apparent suicide.
Spade became one of American fashion’s most beloved, vibrant designers in the 1990s, thanks to her eponymous line of nylon bags. A former Mademoiselleeditor, she launched her collection in 1993 with soon-to-be husband Andy Spade. In the following years, the Kate Spade brand evolved into shoes, other accessories, and then ready-to-wear, touting its whimsical glamour and tongue-in-cheek wit through raspberry pink mules, etiquette books, and miniature nylon accessories. In 2004, Spade summed up her brand to Vogue: “We’re not intimidating. . . . I think some people get nervous about fashion because they find it a little scary. But fashion should be enjoyed; it shouldn’t be looked at from a jaded, been-there-done-that point of view.”