Katherine Noel Brosnahan, known professionally as Kate Spade and Kate Valentine. American born, Kate was a mother, fashion designer, and successful entrepreneur. June 5th, 2018, we lost a brilliant force in the fashion/accessory world and what a tremendous loss it is.
There is no need to discuss as to how or why this happened. Instead, Kate should be remembered for her contribution to the realm of fabulous. Spade started out with Mademoiselle magazine in the accessories department in 1986. She later left the magazine in 1991 with the title of “Senior Fashion Editor/Head of Accessories”.
While working at the magazine she realized that the market was lacking stylish yet sensible handbags. After the discovery, she decided to create her own line of chic practical handbags. Spade developed 6 prototypes out of “Scotch” tape and paper. Shopping her designs around, she found a manufacturer in East New York who was willing to produce her designs and more importantly, work with a startup.
To finance the company Andy Spade withdrew from his 401(k) plan and also paid employees of the company with his own personal checks as well. Kate was undecided about the name of the line. Since she and Andy were not married at the time, “Kate Brosnahan” sounded like an unmarketable name to her. Andy suggested “Kate Spade” which was a combination of his surname and her first name which they both agreed on.
As we all know “Kate Spade New York City” launched into a massive handbag line which extended to clothing, jewelry, shoes, stationery, eye-wear, baby items, fragrances, tabletop, bedding, an d gifts. Later, Kate and her husband sold the line so she can concentrate on raising her daughter.
Although Spade and her husband are not affiliated with the brand for more than 10 years, the beloved brand lives on. There are numerous “Kate Spade New York City” stores all over the country and the world with her first store opening up right in Soho New York City where her empire began and her legacy created.
We will miss you Kate…..