Before difficulties plagued her, Kate was making waves in the fashion industry. It all started back in the ‘80s when she moved to New York City. The designer gained some essential experience working for Mademoiselle before deciding that she was ready to launch her own brand in 1993.
She set out to produce a line of bags, a move that was fully supported by her boyfriend, Andy Spade. The advertiser invested all his money into Kate’s business venture in the hope that it would pay off for them. Although things got off to a slow start, it was only a few years before the Kate Spade brand was amassing great success. Department stores like Barneys wanted her products on their shelves, and in 1996, the business turned a profit for the first time.
From there, things developed massively. Kate herself said that the success was very much a “snowball effect,” with the brand gradually gaining more and more attention as time went on. By the end of the decade, Kate Spade was something that a lot of people wanted a slice of, and the couple sold a significant share of their brand to their biggest client. They were ready for the next step in their lives.
For most of the 21st century, Kate dedicated her time to motherhood. She returned with a new accessories brand in 2016 labeled Frances Valentine, but the stress of another venture might have been too much for her to handle. The business was only established two years before Kate’s tragic passing and may well have contributed to her personal struggles. While we’ll never know what went on in the designer’s head, we’ll always treasure the things she gave us, and remember her just as fondly as her family does.