Monday, June 11, 2018

Kate Spade: In Memoriam

Kate Spade, Kate Spade iPhone 6S makeup palette phone case, tech, phone case, in memoriam
I've had many thoughts swirling around since Kate Spade's untimely suicide last week. I wanted to take some time to put them into words -- and I think I've finally figured out what I need and want to say about this tragedy.

I'm fairly certain every woman can remember her first Kate Spade purchase. Maybe it was a wallet. Maybe it was a bag. Maybe it was a pair of shoes. For me, the first was the aforementioned wallet - a bright green zip-around envelope wallet with 14 credit card pockets and a clear ID window, to be exact. I bought it at the Kate Spade outlet at Woodbury Common in 2003.

I remember being so excited that I finally owned something by Kate Spade -- not a knockoff I'd find down in Chinatown, but a real wallet all my very own. Her signature bags, shoes (AKA the CUTEST pair of black and red Mary Janes) and spunky jewelry followed, as well as a bag I bought my mom from the store on 5th Avenue in NYC, but the wallet held a special place in my heart -- and did, until I used it so much that it literally fell into tatters years later and regretfully had to be thrown away.

Owning this wallet by Kate Spade was my first real glimpse into the positive power that fashion, and the designers behind the items we cherish, can have over us. Even as I've grown older and haven't bought as many Kate Spade items (although the iPhone case I had on my 6S until I recently bought the 10 was an adorable Kate Spade makeup palette-adorned one I got on Black Friday two years ago -- photo of it is above), I've never forgotten how special or important she was and is to me as a designer.

To this day, my best friend and I always send each other the email notifications we get about Kate Spade sample sales. I still get a rush of excitement and nostalgia every time I see the little signature tag on a handbag. And, especially as a copywriter, I'm continually impressed by the true voice the Kate Spade brand possesses -- you just KNOW you're reading copy from and about Kate before you even see her name next to it. Brand recognition in all forms is something a brand strives for and something Kate has in, well, spades.

But, along with the in-depth look I've given toward Kate Spade as a fashion icon, her death stemming from depression strikes a chord with me personally, too. And, while I've never considered suicide, I've been at extremely low depths that felt insurmountable.

Three years ago, right before moving to LA, I was, to put it mildly, in a pit of despair. I'd lost my job, lived in a city I despised, fallen in with a bad guy and had almost no real friends close by. I was working toward my move to LA, which would thankfully come just a few short months later and start me on the path toward true health and happiness. But in the meantime, I was at my lowest point ever.

I honestly didn't know at the time just how depressed I was -- I knew I wasn't HAPPY, per se, but it took coming to LA and starting fairly aggressive therapy to learn how much I really needed to make some changes. I'm extremely grateful for so much that happened after I finally moved to LA, because I worked on pretty deep-rooted issues with my therapist for about two years. Until I really started delving into what was making me unhappy, I just didn't really see how much it had built up or how much I had to work to make things better. But it does make me very sympathetic to the fact that not everyone can find this happiness or peace. Some people just have deeper demons than we realize.

I am truly saddened by the death of Kate Spade and, even though I didn't know her personally, feel a personal connection to her through the world of fashion and my love for her brand. My heart is definitely a little heavier knowing she is no longer here -- and my thoughts are with her family during this indescribably difficult time.

Kate, the next handbag I buy will definitely be yours.

17 comments:

  1. I am a bit of a bag collector and I love Kate Spade because she developed a line of practical yet trendy bags, and also fun pieces. My favorite bag of the tons I own is my Clyde bag. It was a must-have for me as a writer and I wore it in her honor after I heard she passed. I truly hope she has found peace from the demons that caused her to end her life 💕

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    1. The Clyde is such a great bag! I've been considering that one for awhile -- I may have to buy it now.

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  2. I am also very saddened by this loss. I own just one Kate Spade bag, but it is very special to me because it was a gift from my dad, whom I get to see only once every few years.

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    1. That sounds like such a special gift. I'm glad you have it.

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  3. I have the same wallet in red but I bought it 3 years ago. Tho I didn’t own a lot of KS stuff, I certainly appreciated her aesthetic and her achievements. I didn’t realize she had sold her iconic brand. Suicide has happened in my immediate family so my heart goes out to her daughter and family of origin. I’m glad you made your move to LA and have gotten to be the happy soul we see in your pix

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    1. I'm sorry this hits a personal note with you, too, Allison. I actually hadn't realized she sold the brand either. And thank you so much. Your continued support over the years really means a lot to me.

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  4. I feel like the only person I know who has never owned any Kate Spade. Her death definitely rocked me though, it was so unexpected by someone who is so respected and successful.

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  5. I was so sad after I had heard what had happened. Kate Spade is such an iconic brand and she truly made such an impact

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  6. I feel you. I do not know any woman who hasn't owned any Kate Spade. She lived her life. I kept thinking what was going through her mind when she did it. My heart bleeds to those she left behind esp her daughter

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  7. I was surprised and unhappy when I heard about her suicide. It's so drastic. People like her must be in so much pain to do this. I had a Kate Spade phone case for my old phone too and I fought against getting a newer phone since I loved that case. Thanks for expressing your feelings about KS and depression.

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  8. I am so sad for her that she wasn't able to get the help that she ended, and I feel horrible for her family whose loss is incalculable.

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  9. I still can't believe it. So, so saddened by the news.

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  10. I didn't know about her before her death but it has truly saddened me.

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  11. Her death hit me hard too. I have a few of her bags (one when she owned the brand) and loved her style the minute she burst onto the fashion scene. I went through a serious depression and though I never considered suicide, I was in a very dark place. I want to tell EVERYONE who goes through depression IT DOES GET BETTER!

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  12. I just bought my first item from Kate Spade last year: a black messenger bag. I didn't know much about Kate, the person, but I was always very attracted to the fun and feminine aesthetic of the brand. This tragedy should be a reminder that while society pressures us to be "successful", a success career, fame and money do not guarantee happiness. Life is a lot more complicated than that.

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  13. Her death makes me so sad for her family. Nobody ever knows what someone else is dealing with on the inside. May she rest in peace. :(

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  14. Tһanks for finally wrіting aƅout >"Kate Spade: In Memoriam" <Liked it!

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