My little square black nylon Kate Spade evening bag made me feel like a sophisticated and worldly adult, when I was anything, but. My mini backpacks, one black, one maroon featuring that iconic logo, made me feel sporty, but stylish. My oversized black diaper bag, large enough to hold the baby and diapers, made me feel like even though I was a now a mom, I could still be cool and fashionable. My multiple wallets, my cute beaded sandals. I loved everything Kate Spade. She was the sweet side of New York. The whimsical side of adulting.
I coveted that logo and all it meant to me. A feeling of being a modern and successful grown-up. Walking down Newbury Street to my jobs in advertising, I wore my bags and swung my arms and held my head up high. I hadn’t quite arrived, but my bag most certainly made me feel like I was on my way. I was nervous in her Back Bay store, like the proverbial kid in a candy shop. I carefully touched the nylon bags, ran my fingers lightly over the leather and quietly and internally swooned. Her quirky style, bold colors, natural and unfettered charm and that adorable updo, I still wear to this day, made Kate my aspiration. She was soaring, but she seemed down to earth. She was cute, but reeked of a particular sophistication that her beautifully designed logo allowed you to share with her. She made coming-of-age bags. And then, so much more.
I felt shaken by the news of her death yesterday, particularly saddened that it was a suicide. My daughter said, “How could she kill herself, she was so successful?” And of course, she was. And of course, that matters little if you’re depressed.
Kate Spade’s creativity and brilliance helped me grow up. And as a grown up, I now say to you, if you’re feeling unendingly sad, or depressed and like it just won’t get better, or you know someone who is, make a call, reach out. Kate had a unique take on the world. So do we all. We need you. The number for the suicide prevention line is 1-800-273-8255.