06/06/2018 12:03 EDT | Updated 06/08/2018 13:37 EDT

Kate Spade Fans Are Posting Photos Of Their 1st Handbags In Memoriam

Her purses made young women everywhere feel special.

Designer Kate Spade poses for a portrait in her handbag store in Boston on June 25, 1999.
Wendy Maeda/Boston Globe via Getty Images
Designer Kate Spade poses for a portrait in her handbag store in Boston on June 25, 1999.

An artist's work is often memorialized after they die, both as an act of remembrance and to honour their creations. And as news of iconic designer Kate Spade's death spreads, her legions of fans are doing just that.

Spade, 55, died Tuesday, reportedly of suicide. She's best known for her namesake brand of high-end handbags that were cute, colourful, and — for many young women — attainable. "Buying a Kate Spade handbag was a coming-of-age ritual for a generation of American women," The New York Times wrote.

Now, Spade's fans are sharing memories and photos of their first Kate Spade handbags online, and describing how carrying a "grown-up bag" made them feel special.

Even Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush Hager shared personal stories of their first Kate Spade handbags.

Spade's brightly-coloured bags were a style staple for young women in the late 1990s and early 2000s, InStyle wrote.

"For us, these bags were not simply versatile enough to go from boardroom to bar (as they were for many of the working women in our orbit), they were our first portal into the unfamiliar, intoxicating world of fashion," the magazine explained.

Rest in peace, Kate. Wore my #black #katespade tonight in her honour #RIP 🖤

A post shared by Milli (@millihowson) on

Spade leaves behind her daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade, 13, and her husband Andy Spade, 55.

Are you in a crisis? If you need help, contact Crisis Services Canada at their website or by calling 1-833-456-4566. If you know someone who may be having thoughts of suicide, visit CAMH's resource to learn how to talk about suicide with the person you're worried about.

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