Losing a designer always breaks my heart in the worst way. They share art with us in a very different, more intimate way than other artists. Ever since I heard the news this morning about Kate Spade, I’ve been reflecting on how much she shaped my life without ever actually touching it.
In middle school, I bought a knockoff Kate Spade at a purse party my mom took me to. I could’ve never afforded a real one and I so desperately wanted to carry her name on my arm.
When I graduated high school, one of my first designer purchases was a handbag by her that I still carry to this day. I got my mom a Kate Spade wallet just because I could finally afford it, and then for Christmas, my mom returned the favor.
When I decided for the millionth time that it was time for me to stop being such an unorganized mess and buy a planner, I bought one by Kate Spade. My friends all yelled at me, asking me how I could spend so much on a paper book I would probably never use. “Because it’s KATE SPADE!!!” I would always respond.
Reading social media today and reading all of these women recount the first time they bought a Kate Spade handbag or the first time they got to wear her clothes, it’s a reminder that fashion connects us. It connects us with other people, the designer, and sometimes it even helps us connect with ourselves.
Kate’s designs were fun, never boring. They were full of life and happiness and she made us all feel beautiful. For that, we owe her. She was the first designer I ever knew and loved. She was the first designer I ever owned.
I spent most of the day reflecting on Kate’s work and polishing my Kate Spade handbags, for obvious reasons. There are two thoughts I’m left with. This is a reminder that fashion is not frivolous, it is powerful. Secondly, no one is immune from mental health issues. My thoughts are with her family, friends, and colleagues.
If you’re struggling today or any day, you’re not alone. The suicide hotline is available 24 hours at 1-800-273-8255 and you can reach the crisis help line by texting 741741.