“Oh you’re headed to the outlet store?! Please horde everything in the Kate Spade store!” said jokingly by my cousin who was obsessed with everything Kate Spade. I asked her why that specific brand. Her answer, “I don’t know. Everything just makes me giddy and I feel fun when holding one of her bags”. NY Times published an article today to celebrate her life and it said, “She built a brand on the appeal of clothes and accessories that made women smile”. And isn’t fashion, at its core, fun?
In The Beginning. In 1985, a young and bright-eyed Kate Spade left her home in Kansas and made her way to the city that never sleeps. There she started her first foray into fashion as an assistant fashion editor for Mademoiselle Magazine. But it was her role as an accessories editor that made her love accessories a bit more.
The Kate Spade Brand. In 1993, she build the Kate Spade brand. Her spirit was full of hope and it translated to every detail of each collection. Her name became synonymous to jolly, fun and cute accessories that women from the city instantly loved. From selling exclusive handbag designs, she branched out to selling clothes and different accessories for the fun cosmopolitan woman.
The Success Story. First available in Barney’s New York, everything just skyrocketed from there. The feminine and sometimes cheeky designs were affordable, as compared to bags of the luxury houses of Hermes and Chanel, making it easier for women to achieve some kind of status symbol without breaking the bank. It was an approachable kind of luxury. A few years later she opened her own SoHo store and gained recognition when she won the rising-talent award in 1995 and accessories designer of the year in 1997 in the CFDA awards.
She Lives On. The company became a phenomenon and was soon acquired by different fashion conglomerates. Today, it is owned by Coach, Inc. But with print turned into a dress, every detail sown on to a bag, and every color of leather stamped with golden Kate Spade label, one knows of the magnitude Kate Spade has done for the world of fashion. She created a space for women to have fun and be beautiful while doing so. Kate Spade lives on in every piece that she represents. May she rest in peace.
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Photo Courtesy: People.com, Thedailybeast.com, NBC News, Glamour, Mybadgirl.com, Elle, Harpers Bazaar Singapore