CHICAGO (CBS) — New York Police say fashion designer, Kate Spade, was found dead Tuesday in an apparent suicide.
Police report Spade was found by her housekeeper, hanged by a scarf she had reportedly tied to a doorknob.
Spade’s body was found inside her Park Avenue apartment Tuesday morning. Officers say she left a note at the scene.
Kate Spade was 55 years old and leaves behind a husband and 13-year-old daughter.
CBS 2’s Kenneth Craig reports Kate Spade built a fashion empire, first with designer handbags, and then eventually shoes, jewelry, clothing, and more.
During an interview in 2000, Spade talked about the brand that made her a household name.
“I think women want things that are an interesting color, texture, and also elegant,” she stated.
Born as Katherine Brosnahan in Missouri, Spade was a former accessories editor at the fashion magazine called Madamoiselle in New York.
Spade’s rise began when she launched her own company in 1993 with her husband, Andy Spade.
Her distinctive, must-have handbags quickly made her one of America’s top designers.
After 14 years heading the company, Spade sold it in 2006.
Last year, she and her husband appeared on the program “Build” to talk about their new luxury shoe and handbag line “Frances Valentine.”
Spade said her love of fashion started early, saying, “Everybody in my family [loves fashion.] I’m one of six. They’re all like ‘Oh my god, what is she wearing? A leopard coat with green gloves?’ I was like ‘Yes, it’s all the rage!’”
Condolences have been pouring in from fellow designers.
Kenneth Cole tweeted, in part, “She alone didn’t change the handbag world, but she was an inspiring accessory.”
Her namesake company tweeted, “Kate Spade, the visionary founder of our brand, has passed. Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly heartbreaking time.”