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.
I still have my 1st Kate Spade bag, a simple black Sam bag. And today I carried one with me as I traipsed around Amalfi. Kate's designs made women everywhere smile and feel beautiful. What a loss. pic.twitter.com/iK3bmAg9gJ— Tracy Russo (@tracyrusso) June 5, 2018
Ask a girl about her first Kate Spade bag and she'll have so many wonderful things to tell you. She was a female entrepreneurial force to be reckoned with; a real inspiration.— Eisha Misra (@EishaMisra) June 5, 2018
She was so loved & so are you. You aren't alone.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
True story: One of my dreams was to own a #KateSpade handbag & I vowed that if I ever made the NY Times Best Seller List, I would buy one. When AVIATOR'S WIFE made the list, I did - here's the photo I sent to my editor when I bought it. pic.twitter.com/p2QPjKavt2— Melanie Benjamin (@MelanieBen) June 5, 2018
for so many women, buying that first kate spade bag was your first grown-up purchase, your first designer bag. so heartbreaking to hear that someone who brought joy to so many was in such pain. https://t.co/2wE9RR7PoP— Diana Pearl (@dianapearl_) June 5, 2018
Even Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush Hager shared personal stories of their first Kate Spade handbags.
My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kate's family, friends and loved ones in my heart.— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) June 5, 2018
I will never forget the first Kate Spade bag I got for Christmas in college. She was a trailblazer. Her life and death are a reminder that pain doesn't discriminate. Sending love to her family.— Jenna Bush Hager (@JennaBushHager) June 5, 2018
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.
When I first got a job with a livable wage, one of my first purchases was a Kate Spade. I was so proud that I could buy something for MYSELF that was a better quality and more of an investment than the bags I'd been carrying. This is so sad.— Jonquilyn Hill (@jonquilynhill) June 5, 2018
my first "good" purse was a black nylon Kate Spade messenger bag. I begged my mom for it. I felt so special and fancy wearing it.— Celia (@_celia_bedelia_) June 5, 2018
Thank you for making me feel special, Kate.
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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