Remembering Kate Spade

Kate Spade, the face of a brand with a colorful, modern flair, was found dead on her apartment on Tuesday in an apparent suicide.

Like so many other young women, my first "grown-up" piece of designer clothing was Kate Spade. At age fifteen, I saved up as much money as I could to buy a pink wallet half the size of my head. It was one of the first "nice" things I ever owned, and I was captivated by the brand ever since. My mom, sister and I would go into the her store just to stare at the brightly colored bags, so often that the salespeople began to recognize us. 

 The wallet I bought at fifteen (though mine is a bit more worn).  Image via  Kate Spade

The wallet I bought at fifteen (though mine is a bit more worn). Image via Kate Spade

I wore her watch on graduation day, her shoes on prom night, and carried that pink wallet to my first real job interview. With every milestone, something of hers complemented my outfit, made me feel put-together and mature. It is because of this that her death is so devastating.

Her passion for color, close attention to detail, and success as a woman in a creative field inspired me to pursue design myself. Though she disassociated with her brand after selling it over a decade ago, the two were still connected in my mind; I still attribute the joy the line brought me to its founder. It was her vivacious personality that made the brand, inspiring young women and girls to "live colorfully."

  Image via Kate Spade

Image via Kate Spade

By pursuing her craft and her creativity without fear, Kate Spade helped me to realize who I am. She gave myself and so many other young women the confidence to step out into the professional world, armed with a cherry red handbag and a blue fringed wristlet. Modern fashion can be so serious, all Prada and Fendi and Chanel, geometric and monochromatic and expensive; Kate Spade made pieces that simply makes you smile. She provided us with a smooth transition into the mature world of fashion without breaking the bank. Most importantly, she taught young women to play again. She taught me that it isn't unprofessional to have fun, and that my femininity isn't something to be ashamed of.

If you are struggling with depression or are contemplating suicide, remember that you are not alone. Don't hesitate to reach out to a friend, family member, or loved one -- you deserve to be heard.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255