American fashion designer Kate Spade has been found dead in her New York apartment.
It’s understood the 55-year-old was found by her housekeeper at her home on Manhattan’s Upper East Side around 11am (1am AEST).
According to local media and police, she is believed to have taken her own life and left a note for her daughter at the scene.
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“At this point, there was a note left. The contents of that note, as well as the physical state of the apartment and the comments of the witness, lend to the credibility that it is an apparent suicide,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told reporters in the US.
Spade was best known for her signature handbags and bright accessories with which she built her fashion empire in 1993.
Kate Spade New York released a statement this morning confirming the sad news.
“We at Kate Spade New York just learned of the incredibly sad news that Kate Spade has passed.”
“Although Kate has not been affiliated with the brand for more than a decade, she and her husband and creative partner, Andy, were the founders of our beloved brand.
“Kate will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time.”
Spade is survived by her husband Andy Spade and 13-year-old daughter.
Tributes for the handbag mogul have since flooded social media.
My heart and prayers go out to Kate Spade and her family. What a wonderful, talented woman who will be dearly missed.
— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) June 5, 2018
Kate Spade was more than a designer. She had a quirky visual language that captivated Bat Mitzvah girls and artists alike. She was also a staple of NYC who spread good will. My heart breaks for her family. Thank you, Kate, from one of the millions you made feel beautiful.
— 💎 Lena Dunham 💎 (@lenadunham) June 5, 2018
Kate Spade’s tragic passing is a painful reminder that we never truly know another’s pain or the burden they carry. If you are struggling with depression and contemplating suicide, please, please seek help. https://t.co/eruSexNoGj
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 5, 2018
Very saddened to hear about the passing of Kate Spade. Mental illness does not discriminate and can happen to anyone with any circumstances. I hope she has found peace ❤️
— Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) June 5, 2018
#KateSpade, whose lively, colorful, and yes, joyous designs has died. My deepest sympathy to her family and friends, and her many fans around the world, who loved the wonderful illusions she created. I am stunned.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) June 5, 2018
I am heartbroken about the news of Kate Spade. I have worn her clothes many, many times. They were colorful, bold, cheerful, and encouraged women to find the twinkly person inside them. You couldn’t walk into her boutiques and not smile. Rest In Peace, Kate.
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) June 5, 2018
My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kate’s family, friends and loved ones in my heart.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) June 5, 2018
If you are in immediate danger call 000 now. If you require advice or assistance, the following services can offer counselling and support:
Lifeline 13 11 14 | visit website
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 | visit website
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 | visit website
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978 | visit website