Kate Spade Biography

Fashion Designer(1962–)
Fashion designer Kate Spade launched her own line of handbags. Her company has grown to include several retail outlets and a wider range of categories.

Synopsis

Fashion designer and business woman Kate Spade was born in 1962 in Kansas City, Missouri. She launched her own line of handbags in 1993. The company grew to include several retail outlets as well as selling its products through high-end stores. Kate Spade now offers products in a range of categories. While she sold the business to the Neiman Marcus Group in 1999, she has remained active within the brand.

Profile

Kate Spade was born Katherine Noel Brosnahan on December 24, 1962 in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1985, after earning a degree in journalism, she went to work for Mademoiselle magazine in New York City. She would spend five years at Mademoiselle, eventually becoming a senior fashion editor and head of accessories, before leaving in 1991 to put her creative energy toward designing her own line.

Kate Spade put her knowledge and interest in accessories to work, launching her own brand of handbags in 1993 and opening a small boutique in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan soon after. Her handbags were distinctive for their modern, sleek look, pops of color, and utilitarian shapes. Her husband has served as her partner, and, over the years, their business expanded internationally. The company, which went on to carry fashion items beyond her signature bags, grew to include several retail outlets as well as selling its products through such high-end stores like Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus. In 1996 the Council of Fashion Designers of America honored Spade's classic designs by giving her the "America's New Fashion Talent in Accessories" award.

Kate Spade now offers products in a range of categories from eyewear to shoes to paper goods in over 450 stores globally. While they sold the business to the Neiman Marcus Group in 1999 — which was later sold to Fifth & Pacific (formerly Liz Claiborne) in 2006 — the Spades remained active forces within the brand they built.

In 2004, Kate Spade shared her personal style and philosophies in her three books: Manners, Occasions, and Style. Two years later, Kate and her husband would sell the Kate Spade brand so that Kate could devote more time to raising their child. Around the same time, the couple invested in Plum TV, a small television network that broadcasts in the elite vacation spots: the Hamptons, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard.

In 2016, the Spades, along with their longtime friends, Elyce Arons and shoe designer Paola Venturi, launched their new fashion endeavor, Frances Valentine.

Personal Life

Spade met her husband Andy Spade in 1983 while they were in college and married him in 1994. Andy is the brother of actor and comedian David Spade. The couple welcomed their child, Frances Beatrix Spade, in February 2005.

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