Early this morning, the world was shocked by the news of designer Kate Spade’s passing.
Although she hadn’t been associated with the Kate Spade brand for some years (she left to focus on her family and charity), Kate Spade’s legacy was more than just a design house. For many girls, a Kate Spade bag was a coming-of-age symbol, a beautiful item to mark their stepping into adulthood often gifted to them by older relatives or purchased with a first paycheck or months of saving.
“I’ll probably forget my first boyfriend but I’ll never forget my first Kate Spade bag and all the other items I own from that amazing brand that has shaped me to be the colorful, confident, and cheerful woman I am now!” wrote one Twitter user.
And you can see why– the charming designs and solid craftsmanship of a Kate Spade bag made it perfect as many girls’ first branded, “grown-up” bag, but one that didn’t forget the charm and quirkiness of young adulthood.
It was like that for many of my friends, and even celebrities feel the same about their Kate Spade items. Many took to Twitter and Instagram to post touching tributes to the designer that shaped their young adulthood.
Former first daughters Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush Hager were among those who remember their first Kate Spade fondly.
My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kate’s family, friends and loved ones in my heart.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) June 5, 2018
I will never forget the first Kate Spade bag I got for Christmas in college. She was a trailblazer. Her life and death are a reminder that pain doesn’t discriminate. Sending love to her family.
— Jenna Bush Hager (@JennaBushHager) June 5, 2018
Actress Beth Behrs echoed the sentiment.
I remember when I got my first Kate Spade bag in high school. It was my most prized possession. My current wallet ,covered in bees , makes me smile every time I see it- it’s by Kate Spade. My heart is just broken for her family and loved ones.
— Beth Behrs (@BethBehrs) June 5, 2018
While Mindy Kaling paid tribute to Kate Spade’s signature bright designs.
I am heartbroken about the news of Kate Spade. I have worn her clothes many, many times. They were colorful, bold, cheerful, and encouraged women to find the twinkly person inside them. You couldn’t walk into her boutiques and not smile. Rest In Peace, Kate.
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) June 5, 2018
Francis Maxwell showed that she didn’t just leave a mark on people who owned her designs, but on those who used them as gifts as well.
The first gift I bought the love of my life was a Kate Spade bag and I remember inside there was a card with the quote ‘She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes’. It encapsulated the girl I love perfectly. She had a way of encapsulating magnificence. Thoughts with her family
— Francis Maxwell (@francismmaxwell) June 5, 2018
Author Mackenzie Lee summed up the significance of her first Kate Spade bag.
I fell in love with my first #katespade handbag when I was flat broke and could hardly afford rent, let alone a designer handbag. But I never forgot this red typewriter bag, and years later, after months of online sleuthing, I managed to track it down. My Kate Spade bag is one of the most precious items I own. I don’t take it out if there’s a hint of rain, and if I have to set it down somewhere, I put my coat or sweater down to set it on. It is an item that has helped me start conversations, make friends, feel more confident about myself, and has made me happy when it sometimes felt nothing else could. Kate Spade has been a fashion icon for me for years, and her death today was gutting. It’s a reminder that mental illness doesn’t discriminate. It can affect us all, but the hopelessness that can sometimes lead us to feel our life is not worth living is not true. So many women have been affected by Kate and her work and will continue to be. Her death is felt by so many, but so is the death of anyone who dies by suicide. Remember there is hope. There is help. Even when your lizard brain tells you otherwise. Ask for help when you need it. Believe you deserve it. Be kind to yourself. :blue_heart::heart::blue_heart:
In the light of reports that her death was from suicide, others didn’t forget to raise the importance of mental health awareness and seeking help if you need it.
Depression does not discriminate and comes without warning. RIP Kate Spade. Love to her family.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
— josh groban (@joshgroban) June 5, 2018
Very saddened to hear about the passing of Kate Spade. Mental illness does not discriminate and can happen to anyone with any circumstances. I hope she has found peace ❤
— Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) June 5, 2018
Me heart goes out to Kate Spade’s family. May we all take note that we never know what goes on in someone’s life. Be kind to people today, even those you think have it all. https://t.co/1SFbSRfQK6
— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) June 5, 2018
Rest in peace, Kate Spade. We and the rest of the world will always remember you.
If you’re suffering from mental health issues or know somebody who does, call BeFriendersKL at 603-79568145 for support. They’re available to give you emotional support 24 hours a day. Head to www.befrienders.org.my for more information.