Fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead Tuesday in her New York City apartment, The Associated Press reported. She was 55.
Unidentified law enforcement sources told WCBS-TV that Spade was found dead of an apparent suicide.
Officials told the AP that housekeeping staff found Spade hanging in her Manhattan apartment around 10:20 a.m. She had left a note, officials said.
Spade created a line of sleek handbags in 1993. Her company, Kate Spade New York, opened its first store in 1996 in New York City. The fashion brand has more than 140 retail and outlet stores nationwide and more than 175 shops abroad.
Officials with the brand confirmed Spade’s passing in a tweet Tuesday afternoon.
“Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly heartbreaking time,” the statement said. “We honor all the beauty she brought into this world.”
Spade was born in 1962 as Katherine Brosnahan. She was raised in Kansas City, Missouri, and dreamed of being a journalist, NPR reported in a 2017 episode of “How I Built This.” She studied at Arizona State University, where she met her future husband, Andy Spade. She graduated from the university in 1985 with a degree in journalism and, eight years later, launched Kate Spade, according to the New York Daily News.
Kate Spade told NPR that she set out to create the perfect handbag because at the time, “bags were too complicated.”
“We were doing something different, which was really to our advantage,” she said.
The Spades sold Kate Spade New York in 2007, according to CNBC.
Friends and fans took to social media to mourn the fashion maven.
“’I believed that I could, so I did,’” fashion designer Kenneth Cole wrote in a tweet remembering Spade. “She alone didn’t change the handbag world but she was an inspiring accessory. #KateSpade #RIP”
Musician Josh Groban wrote in a tweet that “depression does not discriminate and comes without warning.”
President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump also urged people who are struggling with depression to get help.
“Kate Spade’s passing is a painful reminder that we never truly know another person’s pain or the burden they carry,” she wrote in a tweet.