Yesterday was a hard day for many of us. Yesterday the world learned of the passing of Kate Spade by apparent suicide in her Park Ave. home in NYC. When I heard the news from a friend, my heart sank. "What?!," I thought. "How?" Tears swelled in my eyes as I googled “Kate Spade death” to read what happened.
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If you’ve been with me for some time, it’s no surprise that I admire the brand that Kate Spade established in 1993. Maybe admire is not a big enough word, but it’s what comes to mind. I still remember in High School when the Kate Spade box bag was the It Bag. You weren’t cool at my private high school , Trinity Episcopal, unless you carried a Kate Spade purse. The name Kate Spade was everywhere. On trips to NYC for my moms cancer treatments we would see knock off Kate Spade bags everywhere. My mom, aunt, and grandma threw around the name Kate Spade like it was going out of style- having seen her bags adorn the shelves of luxury department stores. I even remember making the trek into Georgetown- alone- to buy a knock off Kate Spade by from the vendors who have long since left Wisconsin & Prospect St. I know buying a knock off purse is a huge no-no but I was 17, ok? I felt so special carrying that knock off Kate Spade, I felt like a true lady with a stylish, in purse. You can imagine when I finally got my first real Kate Spade bag a few years later- I was ecstatic.
Photo by Snapshots by Sierra
As I grew older, I fully understood the whit and whimsy of Kate Spade's brand. Bright colors, novelty bags, all with a quirky but feminine touch. She taught me to embrace who I am, quirks and all, and that it is was more interesting to be quirky and to live surrounded by things we love. Over the years I have collected various items from Kate Spade New York. From purses, to iPhone cases, to clothes, to jewelry, to the Larabee Dot China I registered for my wedding registry, all bring a smile to my face when I wear or use them. My favorite line though is the black cat items which launched last spring, and resemble my black cat, Chloe, perfectly.
Photo by Preethi Rajaguru
Although she sold her brand and famous name to Neiman Marcus in 2006, her legacy lived on in the classy, charismatic pieces that drape the beautiful boutiques. I will forever thank Kate Spade for introducing me to the notion to be ourselves and have a little fun in life, all which I learned through her.
May the Kate Spade legend live on not only in my heart, but in the hearts of others whom she touched.
Blonde in the District