Kate Spade’s cause of death was suicide by hanging, the New York City medical examiner’s office confirmed to Us Weekly on Thursday, June 7.
The fashion designer was found dead at age 55 in a bedroom of her NYC apartment on Tuesday, June 5. A housekeeper found her hanging with a red scarf around her neck attached to a doorknob at approximately 10:20 a.m. ET. The New York Police Department confirmed to Us that Spade was “unconscious and unresponsive” when emergency responders arrived. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Spade was best known for her namesake brand, Kate Spade New York, which she cofounded in 1993 with her husband, Andy Spade. She sold the mega-successful company in 2007 before launching a new handbag brand, Frances Valentine, in 2016. The latter was named after the couple’s 13-year-old daughter.
“Kate was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the kindest person I’ve ever known and my best friend for 35 years,” the businessman said in a lengthy statement to The New York Times. “My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her. We are deeply heartbroken and miss her already. … We were in touch with her the night before [her suicide] and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock.”
Andy added that he is focusing on his daughter and “protecting her privacy as she deals with the unimaginable grief of losing her mother.”
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).