How Kate Spade changed the world

Her accessories empire is as aspirational as it is accessible, and still brings a smile to the faces of women all around the world.

The tragic passing of Kate Spade has shocked women everywhere who cherish the label's cute and clever bags, frocks, sandals, and homewares. 

For so many, a Kate Spade handbag—the practical, stylish box shape she introduced in the mid-90s—is a prized purchase and a status symbol.



A post shared by kate spade new york (@katespadeny) on

Easier to aspire to than the hefty and fantastical price tags attached to a Chanel, Fendi, or Vuitton, Kate Spade accessories held huge appeal for a generation of working women.

Kate Spade also paved the way for a new breed of more accessible, fun-loving fashion designers like Rebecca Minkoff, even MIMCO here in Australia.


Once an accessories editor for a New York fashion magazine, Kate's vision was to create "a functional bag that was sophisticated and had some style." Hers became one of the first ever 'lifestyle brands' made for women, by women, when she expanded her accessories line into clothing collections, shoes, perfumes, stationery, bedding, and furniture.

Among Kate Spade's many celebrity admirers are the Duchess of Cambridge, Taylor Swift, Halle Berry, and Sarah Jessica Parker

The Duchess of Cambridge in Kate Spade. 

As well as her business and fashion vision, Kate will be remembered as a dedicated philanthropist too. The Kate Spade & Co. Foundation is devoted to helping other young women succeed. 

'We honour all the beauty she bought into the world,' reads a post on the Kate Spade Instagram. American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour said in a statement "Kate Spade had an enviable gift for understanding exactly what women the world over wanted to carry."

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