Kate Spade was found dead from an apparent suicide in her New York City apartment on Tuesday, June 5, Us Weekly confirms. She was 55.
A PIO from the New York Police Department tells Us that the fashion designer was found “unconscious and unresponsive” at approximately 10:20 a.m. ET. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The PIO adds, “The medical examiner will determine the cause of death, and the investigation is ongoing.”
A law enforcement source tells Us that Spade hung herself with a red scarf around her neck attached to a doorknob. She was discovered by her housekeeper, and had left a note at the scene.
“We are all devastated by today’s tragedy,” her family said in a statement to the Associated Press. “We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly. We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.”
Kate’s namesake company, Kate Spade New York, also paid tribute to her in a statement to Us: “Although Kate has not been affiliated with the brand for more than a decade, she and her husband and creative partner, Andy, were the founders of our beloved brand. Kate will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time.”
The businesswoman started her career at the now-defunct magazine Mademoiselle in 1986. Around the same time, she met Andy, whom she married in 1994.
Kate and Andy, who is the brother of actor David Spade, launched Kate Spade New York in 1993. It eventually became a mega-successful clothing and jewelry line. She sold the company in 2007 before launching a new handbag brand named Frances Valentine in 2016.
The fashion icon told NPR earlier this year that she had changed her name to Katherine Noel Frances Valentine Brosnahan Spade.
Kate is survived by her daughter Frances, 13.
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).