Kate Spade – Bagful of memories for 90’s fashionistas

Kate Spade – Bagful of memories for 90’s fashionistas

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Her’s was a story of pursuit for passion, gradually making an enviable transition from being a fashion Editor at Mademoiselle to starting her own namesake label.

Kate Spade, born as Katherine Brosnahan, made designer handbags accessible to the aspiring fashionistas in the early nineties. Having worked as a journalist in a women’s magazine, Kate had a grip on what market wanted and what designers were providing. She cashed in her bag with her astute sense of market understanding and a peppy aesthetics.

Kate Spade, 55, was found dead at her Manhattan apartment on 5th June. She reportedly committed suicide, police officials said. Left behind this Midas lady is her two-year-old new label, Francis Valentine and her husband Andy Spade along with 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade.

So how did Kate Spade turn out to be so successful?

It was 1985. Katherine Brosnahan, resident of Kansas City, had recently graduated with a degree in journalism. Like Anne Hathaway in Devil wears Prada, Katherine entered the world of Fashion through much revered women’s magazine- Mademoiselle.

She joined in their accessory department and got her name Katy Brosnahan as a writer. She later quit Mademoiselle as the senior Fashion editor in 1991 with an idea to start her own accessory label.

Discovering passion before the millennials capitalized on the concept…

In partnership with Andy Spade, Kate started her eponymous label Kate Spade.

The brand was targeted to cater to young fashion enthusiasts like herself who wanted to own a designer bag but not spend more than $1000 dollars. She priced her bags between $200 to $600 and ditched the ubiquitous black colour. Similar to her personality, Kate spade bags were a delightful mixture of all things colour and style.

 

She debuted with just six styles while she combined sleek, utilitarian shapes and colorful palettes in an entirely new way. Women and fashion editors fell for the fresh, modern sensibility, and soon Kate Spade opened its first standalone store in New York in 1996.

What more, even The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) bestowed the Perry Ellis Award for new fashion talent on her in 1996 followed by recognizing her as Accessory Designer of the Year in 1998. Gradually the label grew into a global lifestyle brand by creating handbags and clothing, jewelry, shoes, stationery, eyewear, baby, fragrance, tabletop, bedding and gifts.

Endorsed by different Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities, Kate Spade became the name to reckon with when it came to chic bags. 24 years later, Kate Spade & Co. was bought for $2.4 billion by rival Coach Inc., now known as Tapestry Inc.

Kate Spade left behind an inspirational story of a successful businesswoman who started her career as a journalist and then took the world by storm with her creative designs and market understanding.

Here’s a look of few iconic Kate Spade bags while we, at Ciceroni, pay homage to the creator.

Rest in peace Kate

Bagful of memories with remain with thousands…

Falguni Patel

About the Author

Author Name

Falguni Patel is the Editor and Head – Strategy & Operations at Ciceroni.  With a keen eye for aesthetics and ardent love for words, wit and sarcasm, she critiques fashion and lifestyle unapologetically. She doubles up as a strategic communicator in her other life. Self confessed Bibliophile, travel enthusiast and sucker for humour in mundane, Falguni loves food analogies in all her conversations.

Falguni Patel

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