Remembering Kate Spade

I was so sad to hear the news about Kate Spade yesterday.

I had a Kate Spade Sam bag in the late 90s and, when my daughter was born, I got a Kate Spade diaper bag. It was one of the first diaper bags out there that was practical (you could wipe it down) yet chic. It lasted through two babies. Spade created such a legacy and, now that my daughter is a teenager, she’s enjoying the look Kate Spade made legendary, even though Kate Spade has not been involved in her eponymous brand for years.

It’s a shock when anybody ends their life, but it seems particularly heartbreaking when it’s someone known for such a positive outlook. I had this card, that came with a Kate Spade purchase, pinned on my bulletin board for years as inspiration:

via Pinterest

Kate Spade was an early curator, with books on Style, Entertaining, and Manners, much like the lifestyle bloggers today: focusing on the fun, beauty, and festivity in this world. But, along with the bright, beautiful, creative spirit she showed the world, clearly came hidden sadness.

The people I know who have struggled with depression – and I count myself among them – are particularly adept at masking it. There is stigma to overcome. I’ve had my openness with depression and anxiety held against me. And others’ attempts to get help have made them the subject of gossip. As long as there is shame, people will not seek help. And the consequences can be fatal.

If nothing else, I hope that this and other such tragedies will continue to move the conversation forward. There is certainly more openness now than when I suffered from post-partum depression back in 2003. I love the efforts of BAN.DO founder Jen Gotch to destigmatize mental illness with her anxiety and depression necklaces and the sharing of her own story. Ditto for the efforts of Sarah Wilson and Kesha and Selena Gomez and Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan and so many more. We need to keep hearing more voices that say, this is not a disease that discriminates.

In the meantime, I’m saying a prayer for Spade’s family. I hope that her soul has found peace.I hope Kate’s throwing confetti around heaven right now and making colourful sashes for all of the saints.  And I hope she’s having an eternity of beautiful picnics like the one in this vintage ad.

via Pinterest

Be kind to yourself and let someone know if you think you might need help.

XO

2 comments

  1. Thank you for this post.I love that card you have. Her little sayings on cards and bracelets and bags were just one of many gems she left us. I do not think people realize all the trends and styles she started. I also wrote a little post about her as I am still beyond sad. She was a great purveyor of a joyful life and how sad she was struggling inside. It just makes you wonder how many others are also struggling and cannot share it? How much better if she had- you know? I heard her sister tried to get her help, but she chickened out and they eventually gave up. That made me so sad. I feel for her family. Hopefully, by hearing this story someone else will get the help they need or at least open up about it and share. Kim

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    • Thank you for taking the time to comment. I love your tribute (and your blog.) She was so special to many of us and somehow lost sight of that. There is so much work to be done to remove stigma so people can get help. I have zero tolerance for people who shame those who are open about mental health struggles. When I went public with my own struggles a decade ago, I got emails from women and their family members saying my openness quite literally saved their lives. And yet I’ve still had it held against me. No wonder someone as high profile as Kate Spade did not get help. I hope her tragic death raises the awareness than can help others. She’s left a beautiful legacy. XO

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