It’s quite unusual for the world of fashion and design, one generally thriving with monikers of success and underlined by style each breathing second to be reduced to a sudden standstill of sorts. But it seems the date June 6, 2018, could, for years to come be the date that shuddered the realm of fashion and glamour in sheer disbelief.
Alive one day, buzzing in the glowing landscape of the fashion industry but no longer breathing on the other, Kate Spade’s sudden death has quite simply stunned the world. In an age where fashion labels dominate our lives and incessant creativity is nearly an order of the day, designers like Kate Spade don’t mind not their brand and fashion label taking precedence than their own face. Of course, for them- the brand itself is their own mug-shot.
But for as long as the Kate Spade handbag- a metaphorical sign of success and fashion magnanimity will be out there- and considering the profound success, there’s little doubt, it shall be succeeded by a grim reminder that its famous creator is sadly no longer there. The diva behind a successful multi-billion dollar empire cut a sad figure in the recent days, it is believed. There was trouble in her marriage, unfortunately, her husband of 24 years desperate for a divorce, adding a string of mental hostility to an already troubled Kate, who’d been running pillar to post to make her other fashion brand work.
What’s even more telling on the sad state of affairs regarding her passing is that Kate Spade committed suicide. Survived by a daughter and a grieving husband, she was only 56.
Having focused all her energies toward upping the ante of her second fashion brand- Francis Valentine- named after her daughter, Kate Spade was coping with a period of onerous challenges, marked by stress. To her success, there was the exuberant and vibrant Kate Spade label, a brand she had shaped with great caution since the past two decades, a brand that to this day enjoys over 300 branches around the world. But to her dismay, despite several honest efforts of promoting and spreading out her second brand- now, arguably the biggest nemesis of her creative endeavour- she wasn’t able to make the brand succeed.
Even as the police have ruled out all signs of foul play, while as of now as the investigations continue, there’ll be this sinking low feeling regarding the fashion designer’s death. From the onset of 1996, in the wake of the first store opening in New York where the brand was incepted to every red carpet function where both the widely acclaimed label, as well as the creative visionary behind it, made for steady appearances, Kate Spade was a name cushioned by a world-wide acceptance and adored by hundreds of thousands of raving admirers.
Then to be discovering that perhaps on account of being heavily stressed or burdened by a lack of success in establishing the other brand moved her to the extent of claiming her own life is distressing beyond description. In fact, so earnest and dedicated was Kate Spade toward giving feathers to the other brand- Francis Valentine- that in order to make it jump on its own feet, the mild-mannered woman had cut the umbilical cord with the existing brand, stepping back from a shiny multi-billion dollar identity to etch an individual identity for the second brand. This is when there was never a longing for success for the premier Kate Spade fashion handbag. The company’s bright and colourful patterned designs became a trademark of its products.
But sadly, Kate wouldn’t be there to see it grow, even as it continued to struggle to take on. Perhaps what’s really disconsolate about her passing is that at a time where we feel that successful individuals may be leading a highly satisfied life, it often isn’t so. For instance, who would’ve imagined that someone like a Kate Spade, no stranger to success with high-profile celebs like the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton fashionably using the handbags and clutches, would end her life by hanging herself in an obscure apartment using a scarf?
Understated elegance and an exuberance worth sticking around with- while that was the main drawing point about Kate Spade’s massively successful couture of handbags, there’s a feeling of glum in her passing, albeit one that carries a lesson.
Could Kate Spade’s demise be telling us about the great disconsolation of our times; that despite garnering heavy-duty commercial success, individuals often fail to earn the peace of mind, something that no currency on earth can fetch?
For someone who established a verve of style and attained skyrocketing commercial success, having sold her brand Kate Spade back in 2007 for a massive $2.4bn (£1.8bn), none of the bright colours and patterned lines- part of her signature style element- could persuade her to continue her journey here amidst fans, friends, admirers, family.
In here lies a perplexing reality of our lives. That maybe, nothing ever suffices to fetch us what we seek- acceptance. Would Kate Spade have taken such a drastic step had her brand taken off well and would’ve gained success? Would Kate, so full of life and natural charm, have ever thought about something so hollow had her husband been there by her side to support her?