It’s Day 370 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and as my heart grieves the tragic death of 55-year-old Kate Spade, I feel compelled to share that she was so much more than the handbags she made. Though I’ve never owned or even been interested in purchasing a Kate Spade handbag or any of the other accessories, clothing, shoes, and various other items in her line, her suicide has impacted me dramatically. When I read the Linked In story of how the cleaning woman found her body hanging in her bedroom with her husband, brother of actor David Spade, home in their New York flat and her thirteen-year-old daughter at school, my heart broke for all of them. Hundreds of comments followed the article, many of them asking how someone with so much fame and fortune could take her own life. Stunned that people feel any of that matters to someone who has lost all hope and the will to live, I wanted to respond: Kate Spade was so much more than the handbags she made!
I’m a self-proclaimed fashionista – a true Maxxinista – and adore handbags. But it wasn’t until I read the above article that I realized prior to launching her line, Kate Spade made the last minute decision to display her name on the outside of the handbags and forever changed the world of fashion. Other than Vera Bradley, I know of no other female designer whose name is synonymous with gorgeous handbag. So while I’ve never carried one of her bags, her influence is seen in the Coach bags I once carried and the Calvin Klein bags I prefer now. As a matter of fact, the former was so impressed by the Kate Spade line that they acquired it about a decade ago. And apparently Kate Spade launched another line under a different name but didn’t experience a modicum of the success of her original line. Speculation is that disappointment over this may have contributed to the suicide. Another theory is that her desperate act was tied to her husband wanting a divorce. The note left stated that their daughter was not to blame herself. Poor girl.
All of the above not to feed the rumor weed but to make a point. Even at the height of the original Kate Spade line success, it didn’t define her. She was a gifted artist, creator and designer, but those are titles and don’ t begin to touch the essence of a person. She was a smart, beautiful woman, wife and mother. But those were her gender and relationship roles. In so many ways, Kate Spade was Pink Collar Savvy & Chic…Yet she gave in to despair – a D – or personal barrier.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose woman of faith, one who has and continues to struggle with bouts of depression – another D – at times, I would be remiss if I didn’t share the most important part of who Kate Spade was: A beloved child of The Most High God. He created her, loves her, and has a plan for her life. Still. Sadly, she either never knew this or lost sight of it. She made a fatal decision that will have long-lasting ramifications for those she left behind and our sympathies go out to them. But because she was a prominent, well-known figure, her suicide is raising awareness about depression and mental health issues for all of us. Lord willing, it may keep others from making the same drastic decision. So many Ds…My prayer is that this dearly departed soul is resting in peace and safe in the arms of our heavenly Father. Because Kate Spade was and will always be more than the handbags she made.
I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and talk to someone if you struggle with depression or that you’ll be there for someone else who does. And please remember, God loves you and cares about your pain and suffering. Blessings.
Be savvy & chic,
~Pink Collar Coach