Kate Spade leaves behind her husband and business partner. Here's what we know about their relationship.
- Kate Spade was found dead in an apparent suicide in her apartment in New York, according to multiple reports. She was 55.
- She leaves behind her husband, Andy, and a 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade.
- Andy Spade was a co-creator of Kate Spade's namesake brand and played an integral role in building the business.
Famed handbag designer Kate Spade was found dead in an apparent suicide on Tuesday morning in her Upper East Side apartment, the Associated Press reported, citing law enforcement officials. She was 55.
Spade, who is best known for launching her namesake handbag brand, leaves behind a husband and a 13-year old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade.
Andy Spade, her husband of 24 years and the brother of actor David Spade, has not yet publicly commented on his wife's death.
The couple met at Arizona State University and married in 1994. Kate Spade was the accessories editor at Mademoiselle magazine, which was formerly owned by Conde Nast, before she left to set up a handbag company in 1993. She did so with the encouragement of her then-boyfriend, Andy.
"The reason I started making handbags was because of Andy's suggestion. After moving through a number of positions, I had been promoted to senior fashion editor after six years at Mademoiselle magazine. I wasn't sure the next step was one I wanted to make. Andy just said, 'You know, I think we should start something,'" Kate Spade told CNN Money in 2003.
The business was named after the couple's combined names, which later became her own married name.
Andy, who worked in advertising, played a supportive role in the business early on but quit his job in 1996 to join Kate Spade full time.
The couple built up the brand over the next few years before selling a 56% stake to Neiman Marcus for $33.6 million in 1999. In 2006, they sold Neiman Marcus the remaining stake for $59 million.
One week later, Neiman Marcus went on to sell the business for $124 million to retailer Liz Claiborne. Coach acquired the company last year for $2.4 billion.
The couple didn't give up on handbags altogether, however. In 2015, they launched a new brand, Frances Valentine, that sells shoes and handbags. The company was named after their daughter.
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