Kate Spade’s Net Worth: Kate Spade was an American fashion designer who died in 2018 with a net worth of $200 million. Spade founded the upscale fashion label Kate Spade New York. Kate founded the company with her then-husband, Andy Spade (brother of actor and comic David Spade). In 1993, she debuted with a handbag line.
In addition to selling its items through high-end boutiques such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s, the firm expanded to include several retail outlets. Kate Spade established a worldwide accessories business by expanding into new markets. Kate Spade now sells products in a variety of categories, including eyewear, shoes, and paper goods.
Kate and Andy sold 56 percent of the company to the Neiman Marcus Group for $34 million in 1999, but they stayed engaged within the brand. In 2006, they sold the remaining of her stake for $60 million.
Spade debuted Frances Valentine, a brand of luxury handbags and footwear, in 2016. Kate and Andy invested in a tiny television network called Plum TV, which transmits in Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Hamptons, and she wrote the books “Manners And occasions,” and “Style” in 2004. Unfortunately, Spade died in June 2018 after an apparent suicide.
Kate Spade was born Katherine Noel Brosnahan in Kansas City, Missouri, on December 24, 1962. June, her mother, was a housewife, and Frank, her father, was the proprietor of a road-construction company. Kate attended St. Teresa’s Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school, and following graduation, she attended the University of Kansas before transferring to Arizona State University, where she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
She received a journalism degree in 1985 and worked as a college student at the Phoenix apparel retailer Carter’s Men Shop. Spade was Rachel Brosnahan’s aunt, and she has been described as “exceedingly kind, stunningly sensitive, tremendously talented, funny as hell, and one of the kindest women I have ever known.”
Kate met Andy Spade in 1983 while working at Carter’s Men Shop, and they married in 1994. Andy Spade is comedian/actor David Spade’s brother, and Kate appeared as herself in David’s NBC sitcom “Just Shoot Me!” in 2002. In February 2005, Kate and Andy had their first child, Frances Beatrix Spade.
Andy revealed after Kate’s death, “We had been living separately but within a few blocks of each other for the previous ten months. Bea was living with both of us, and we saw or spoke to each other every day. We shared numerous meals as a family and continued to vacation as a family. Our priority was our daughter.
We were not formally divorced, and we never discussed it. We were best friends attempting to solve our problems in the best way we could.”
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Spade relocated to New York City to work for “Mademoiselle” magazine, where she spent five years as a senior fashion editor and head of accessories. She left in 1991, and two years later, with her future husband, Andy Spade, she created Kate Spade, New York. Andy offered “Kate Spade” after Kate was undecided about what to call the company because she believed “Kate Brosnahan” was too long because Kate would be assuming his last name after their wedding.
Spade utilized paper and Scotch Tape to build six prototypes for her initial line of handbags, which she produced with the help of an East New York manufacturer willing to collaborate with a startup. Andy, who had previously worked as a copywriter, used the money in his 401(k) to fund the company.
Kate changed the appearance of her handbags after the Barneys department store chain ordered a handful of her bags at a show at the Javits Center, putting the labels on the exterior. Her purses, which retailed for $150-$450, became popular, and she launched her first store in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood in 1996.
Although Kate Spade New York initially just offered handbags, the company gradually expanded to sell apparel, shoes, jewelry, eyeglasses, fragrances, stationery, and other goods. The company claimed $100,000 in revenue in 1993, but by 1998, that amount had risen to $27 million (and $99 million by 2006).
As of this writing, more than 140 Kate Spade stores and outlets have opened in the United States alone, with more than 175 stores worldwide.
Spade debuted a home line called Kate Spade at home in 2004, which included bedding, furnishings, bath goods, wallpaper, and other items. After purchasing Kate’s remaining interests in the company in 2006, Neiman Marcus Group sold Kate Spade, New York, to Liz Claiborne Inc. for $124 million, and Coach, Inc. purchased the company for $2.4 billion in 2017.
Following Kate’s death, the Love Katy collection was released by her Frances Valentine company (which she co-founded with Andy and her best friend, Elyce Arons). Rachel Brosnahan, Kate’s niece, was cast in the company’s spring 2019 marketing campaign.
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Honors & Awards:
Spade was designated “America’s New Fashion Talent in Accessories” by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in 1996, and she was nominated “Best Accessory Designer of the Year” two years later. Kate’s home line won the “Elle Decor” International Design Award for Bedding in 2004, the “Bon Appétit” American Food and Entertaining Award for Designer of the Year in 2005, and the “House Beautiful” Giants of Design Award for Tastemaker in 2006.
In 2017, she was honored into the Henry W. Bloch School of Management’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, and the same year, “Fast Company” named Spade one of the “Most Creative People in Business.”
On June 5, 2018, a housekeeper discovered Spade’s body in her New York City residence. Kate hung herself with a scarf and left a note for her daughter, according to reports. The next day, Andy stated his wife’s terrible death, stating, “For many years, Kate struggled with melancholy and anxiety.
She was actively seeking aid and collaborating with specialists to manage her sickness, which claimed far too many lives. We spoke with her the night before, and she sounded content. There had been no sign or warning that she would do this. It was a complete surprise.” Spade’s burial was held on June 21st at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Redemptorist Church in Kansas City, Missouri, one day after her father died, who had “been in deteriorating health of late and was grieved about the recent death of his beloved daughter.”
Kate Spade New York agreed to donate $1 million to suicide prevention groups two weeks following Kate’s death, and the firm eventually launched a Mind, Body, Soul program for its employees worldwide.
How Much Is the Kate Spade Company Worth?
After purchasing Kate’s remaining interests in the company in 2006, Neiman Marcus Group sold Kate Spade, New York, to Liz Claiborne Inc. for $124 million, and Coach, Inc. purchased the company for $2.4 billion in 2017.
Spade’s 3,025 square foot Park Avenue apartment was listed for $6.35 million in June 2019. Kate and Andy purchased the two-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom property for $2.675 million 20 years ago.