How are you? Yesterday I woke up to a text from my friend that read “Kate Spade?!” My initial thought was “No, no, no.”
But as I’m sure you know by now, the worst was true, Kate Spade has died.
While the details seem gratuitous and disrespectful to her family (she has a 13-year-old daughter for goodness sake), I wanted to take a moment to talk about processing the news.
I’ve never understood when people would cry over a celebrity’s death. But Kate Spade’s death hit me like a ton of bricks. And I know I’m not alone, particularly within the blogging, designing and creative communities.
As a blogger, you’re often asked which brand(s) your own brand relates to most. My answer is always Kate Spade. I’ve always admired her love for color, charm and wit.
In an industry that thrives on cool, I love that Kate Spade took another route: playful, nostalgic, cheerful, classic.
Aside from that, I’ve always admired her life.
I’ve always loved that she and her husband Andy built the company as a team. They were my “couple crush.” A creative duo who built something amazing together, cashed out at the right time, then took time off to raise their daughter, and just recently came back to the industry for their next creative venture together, Frances Valentine.
It seemed they had that whole work-life balance thing figured out.
But, as we know, no one really know what’s going on — and mental illness is a real bitch.
It can be dangerous to put people on pedestals — not just for you, but for them.
If you struggle with anxiety, depression or know someone who does — or have been affected by suicide — the news of Kate Spade’s suicide can be very triggering.
Be sure to take care of yourself and each other.
It can be extremely hard to ask for help or to get help to someone who needs it.
But it’s THE most important thing you can do. Your life –or the life of someone you love dearly – depends on it.
Sending hugs to all of you and especially to Kate’s family and friends during this tragic time.
p.s. I just got done listening to Jen Gotch’s new podcast: Jen Gotch Is Ok Sometimes. She is SO wonderfully open about talking about her own bipolar disorder and mental health struggles. If you’re not aware, Jen Gotch is the founder and creative mastermind behind the fashion and lifestyle brand ban.do.
Remember, brilliant minds who add so much sparkle and color to the world often can do so because they experience both extremes — extreme color, magic and sparkle…and the opposite. And that’s okay. Jen even created necklaces that read Anxiety, Depression and Bipolar as a way to open up the conversation and destigmatize mental health.
Our generation is very lucky in that these conversations are becoming much more acceptable. But we need to be aware that that’s not always the case for people who are older than us or people from different cultures. The more we talk openly, the better for everyone.
There is NO SHAME in dealing with mental illness.
Okay that was the longest p.s. ever, but all of that to say I love you. And if you ever need to talk, please reach out.
The number for the Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. They even have an online chat.
*These photos have nothing to do with the topic, but were taken yesterday after we voted. We’d noticed these glorious purple trees just come into bloom and wanted to capture them before they went away. They occurred between me taking a long tear-filled bath and laying on the couch comatose for hours watching Gilmore Girls. I say that only to illustrate once again that blog and Instagram photos never show the full picture.
Late last night we took Odee on a walk — even though the last thing I felt like doing was moving, Fred Baby urged me to and I love him for it (it’s really important for mental health) — and we both were blown away by the stars in the sky. We agreed it was the most beautiful walk we’d ever taken here, and there seemed to be more sparkle in the stars. I think it was Kate.
PHOTOS by FRED MOSER
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Kelly, thank you so much for sharing. Like you, I was shocked by this tragic news yesterday … and still can’t believe it. I think one reason it was so shocking was exactly what you said … Kate Spade’s designs were so whimsical, colorful and fun. Seeing her work made me smile. It’s tough to believe that someone who created those things would harbor dark thoughts & such pain. But, you just never know what goes on in people’s minds, as you said. I hope everyone sees what you & others have written about mental illness & the reminder that help is available & that we should all be kind to one another because you never really know what they might be going through. My thoughts and prayers go out to Kate Spade’s Ｆａｍｉｌｙ & friends & especially her little girl.
The news hit me hard too. I’ve followed her brand for over 10 years. She will be missed.
Thank you for this. I feel so much sadness for someone I never met but has been part of my life since my first KS purchase in the 90’s.
I feel you–it was such a shock! I felt like I knew her and I always looked up to her–her whimsy and bright, happy style. Thank you for sharing the suicide hotline numbers–we never know who looks like they have it all figured out on the outside, but are actually suffering. The more we all talk about our struggles and support one another, the better.
Kate’s death was a great loss to the fashion industry. I created a memorial for her here – https://gomemori.com/memorials/kate-spade, let me know what you think!