Fashion designer Kate Spade found dead, police say

Gustavo Caballero via Getty Images                   Andy Spade and Kate Spade appear at the Three As Four show during New York Fashion Week in September 2007

Gustavo Caballero via Getty Images Andy Spade and Kate Spade appear at the Three As Four show during New York Fashion Week in September 2007

Kate Spade, the handbag and fashion designer, 55, was found dead in her NY apartment by housekeeping staff in what officials called an apparent suicide.

Her husband told The Times his wife's death came as a "complete shock".

The designer reportedly died by suicide.

Two days after his sister's body was found in her NY apartment from an apparent hanging, Brosnahan reiterated that the family's privacy be respected.

Spade described his wife as kind and his best friend for 35 years.

When Spade's suicide was reported Wednesday, many of her fans said it was hard to reconcile the grim news with a treasured brand synonymous with a carefree NY lifestyle.

The designer's sister also revealed that she attempted to convince Spade to enroll in a mental health treatment program.

Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images A sign for a Kate Spade shop in Covent Garden, London.

Spade got her spade in the '80s working for women's magazine "Mademoiselle" in Manhattan, when she moved in with Andy Spade, the brother of David Spade.

"She was actively seeking help for depression and anxiety over the last five years, seeing a doctor on a regular basis and taking medication for both depression and anxiety", Andy Spade said in a statement obtained by The New York Times.

Kate and Andy Spade sold majority stake in their company to Neiman Marcus in 1999, and the remaining shares in 2006 for a combined $93 million.

She walked away from the company in 2007, a year after it was acquired from the Neiman Marcus Group for $125 million (then known as Liz Claiborne Inc.). "My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can't even begin to fathom life without her". They moved to NY in the mid-1980s before Kate launched Kate Spade Handbags in 1993. They returned to the fashion world in 2016 by founding Frances Valentine, which was partly named after Frances Beatrice. Its name, like Kate Spade, held special significance.

Kate Spade was born Katherine Brosnahan and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri.

Saffo anxious that the brand's image was "more important" for Spade so she would not enter treatment for fear it would tarnish the "happy-go-lucky" vision.

The fashion icon and designer was found "unconscious and unresponsive" yesterday in her New York City apartment at the age of 55.

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