The iconic designer was found dead Tuesday at her apartment on Park Avenue in NY at age 55. When she was honored with Glamour's 2002 Women of the Year Award, Spade revealed-in her own words-that she wanted to be remembered for so much more than just her business prowess.
She took the Jitney, a well-known bus which shuttles Manhattanites to the Long Island enclave, and met Andy in Southampton where he had a bottle of champagne on ice. Authorities found a handwritten note addressed to her daughter next to Spade's body.
From the original boxy handbags, she expanded into shoes, luggage and other accessories, as well as a home line, stationery, and three books.
Saffo said she'd come close to getting Kate Spade into treatment, but she backed out every time.
"The contents of that note as well as the physical state of the apartment and the comments of the witness lend to the credibility that it is an apparent suicide", NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said.
The 55 year old became a fashion industry darling in the 1990s with a simple but whimsical style. As the shocking news spread, Bravolebs took to social media to speak out about the death and what the designer and brand meant to them. "I grew up in the Midwest, where you have to have (a fashion item) because you like it, not because you're supposed to have it", she told The AP in 2004.
Rosie O'Donnell also sent well-wishes to actor David Spade, who is Kate Spade's brother-in-law. "She was so sharp and quick on her feet", he said.
Separately, Saffo told CBS News that her sister suffered from bipolar disorder brought on by her "immense celebrity".
Ms. Spade said she felt handbags at that time were too complicated, and there was a dearth of bags with clean, simple shapes.
"I knew her from being in NY for years and years..." "And I just went 'What?'..."
"Sometimes you simply can not SAVE people from themselves", she also wrote in the email. It makes it all the more striking, then, that Spade was able to break through, and do so with a brand that was unapologetically and exuberantly feminine. "So pretty", David Spade tweeted along with a shot of him and a smiling Kate Spade.
He urged people in this "rough world" to take care of each other.
He concluded the caption by again urging fans to "try to hang on".