Since opening her first store in 1996, Kate Spade became an iconic fashion designer known for her sleek and colorful handbags.
The Kansas City native, who had little experience in design prior to starting her fashion empire, was found dead of an apparent suicide in her Manhattan apartment on June 5, law enforcement officials told Fox News.
In light of her death, here are three things to know about the style guru.
She left Kate Spade & Company in 2007
After launching Kate Spade handbags in 1993, Spade sold her company in 2007, a year after it was acquired from the Neiman Marcus Group for $125 million by the company then known as Liz Claiborne Inc. In 2017, Coach bought the brand for $2.4 billion.
Spade said her desire to spend more time with family was the reason she decided to sell.
"I had just had my daughter and I really kind of at that point thought I just really wanted to spend time with my family," Spade told Fox News in 2016.
Spade’s daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade, is now 13.
A few years back, Spade started another handbag company with her husband called Frances Valentine.
Spade, once the accessories editor at Mademoiselle magazine, began to design her iconic bags when she was 30 years old, creating her very first mockup out of burlap, according to Racked. She told The Boston Globe in 1999 she was “looking for something that could be ... more personal,” adding that she also “wanted timelessness."
From the original boxy handbags, she expanded into shoes, luggage and other accessories, as well as a home line, stationery and three books. Spade won multiple awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and was named a "giant of design" by House Beautiful magazine.
She’s not the only big name in her family
Actor David Spade and actress Rachel Brosnahan are both related to the late fashion designer.
In the 1980s, while attending Arizona State University, Kate Spade met her soon-to-be husband, Andy Spade. His brother, David, is known for his roles in “Joe Dirt,” “Tommy Boy” and “The Benchwarmers.”
Brosnahan, known for her role in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and “House of Cards," is Spade’s niece.
She came from humble beginnings
In the same 1999 interview with the Boston Globe, Spade, who had five siblings, told the newspaper her father owned a construction company and her mother was a housewife.
To say the least, Spade, who recalled times of rummaging through her mother’s jewelry drawer and wearing overalls around the house, never expected to one day become a fashion expert.
"When I was a kid, I didn't even know Chanel. I would have called it Channel,” she said at the time.
Fox News’ Sasha Savitsky and Leora Arnowitz contributed to this report. The Associated Press also contributed to this report.