For some reason, when I heard the news yesterday about the passing of Kate Spade, I was incredibly sad for her and her family.
Growing up, I didn’t know a ton about fashion or luxury brands. I didn’t know the labels. I didn’t know the designers.
I heard of some of the famous ones. Back then Calvin Klein was still popular. But I didn’t know the extent. I wasn’t aware of brands and status labels until I became a teenager. So around junior high or so is when labels started to become important to me.
Who were you wearing? What kind of shoes? What kind of jackets, jeans, sweaters etc. For us girls, it was all about the purses. Anyone remember Liz Claiborne purses?
Fast forward to now. Everyone knows who Prada is. Everyone knows about Gucci, and of course Louis Vuitton. Everyone knows about Michael Kors.
For the longest time, and still today, Coach was the label. It’s the one that even guys know. Boyfriends and husbands that wish to impress their wives, or girlfriends, would buy them a Coach bag. If you received it as a gift- you showed it to EVERYONE.
They have the iconic C symbol. And the jacquard print pattern that can be recognized by even the fashion incompetent. I’m fairly certain even my husband would recognize a Coach bag or purse.
But then, in the 90’s, the Kate Spade brand was born.
This was a collaboration of Kate and her husband Andy (Spade). After logging in six years at iconic fashion magazine Mademoiselle, she designed her first colorful handbag.
It didn’t take long before her brand just exploded, rocketing to the top of the fashion scene. She was a terrific success, and soon everyone knew who she was. Fast forward twenty-five years later, and the brand was acquired by Coach.
By this time, Kate had already moved on to start another company- Frances Valentine. I won’t get into the rest of the details, you can read it through any basic Google search.
But what I always loved about Kate Spade’s style are her simple designs.
They have an extra feminine touch. Sleek bright colors. Simple but elegant color blocking. Fun and flirty designs. In my opinion- the Kate Spade brand is so much more colorful and cheerful than Coach. I became an instant fan the first time I saw it.
I have several Kate Spade bags, purses and wallets.
I think any working mom, or any person that loves to splurge when they can- leans towards style and brands that speak to them. I have thought that the Kate Spade brand was so refreshing chic and pretty. Kate was a working Mom. She was a professional. She was also a wife. She was many of us. Her brand spoke to me.
I was deeply saddened to hear about her death. Her style and the mark that she left on the fashion world, and for many women everywhere, will be felt forever.
Thank you, Kate.