Kate Spade – More Than the Handbags She Made

Kate Spade – More Than the Handbags She Made

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! 

Me, Pink Collar Coach, after a sad conversation with my husband about Kate Spade’s death.           I’m in my usual Calvin Klein – a sheath dress, floral scarf and handbag.                                                        Now I know the label is on the outside because of her. All TJ Maxx from years ago.                                                                       The pumps are Calvin Klein, too, bought brand new at Goodwill for $8.

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 


Reliving Michelle Kwan’s Olympic Loss Twenty Years Later

Reliving Michelle Kwan’s Olympic Loss Twenty Years Later

It’s Day 263 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and watching Evgenia Medvedeva lose the 2018 Olympic Women’s Figure Skating gold medal to her teammate Alina Zagitova has many reliving iconic Michelle Kwan’s Olympic loss twenty years later. And I’m not the only one. Michelle Kwan’s Olympic debut occurred at age thirteen when she competed as an alternate. Even then, she stood out. Four years later, at seventeen, artistry made her angelic while an ability to land jumps made her a national and world champion many times over. She skated with her heart on her sleeve and held the hearts of Americans in her hands. By the 1998 games, the only title she’d yet to claim was Olympic Gold Medalist. The world stage was set for that to occur and seventeen-year-old Michelle rose to the occasion with what appeared to be the winning skate. But that was before fifteen-year-old Tara Lipinski took the ice. With a more technically difficult program containing several triple jumps, Tara knocked Michelle into the silver medal spot and took the top one on the podium, causing shock waves that still reverberate today. I won’t go so far as to say Michelle was robbed, but some do. The similarities between Michelle’s story and that of the Olympic Athlete from Russia, Evgenia, are so uncanny it’s no wonder her upset has many of us reliving Michelle’s Olympic loss two decades later.

Thursday night, figure skating fans were poised to witness the dramatic skate off between Russian training mates: eighteen-year-old Evgenia and fifteen-year-old Alina. They were in second and first place respectively, going into the free skate. Like Michelle, Evgenia’s artistic flair, emotional connection to her music, technical ability, and winning streak over the last two years leading up to the Olympics had placed her in gold medal favorite position. But just like Michelle with Tara, the younger skater posed a threat. The media hyped this up as Evgenia, The Queen, being chased by The Princess, Alina. When it came down to the skate that would change their careers, both delivered clean, strong programs. Alina skated first and was technically savvy. Eugenia was the final skater of the evening and was not only great technically but sublime with her skating. In my opinion, the latter evoked much of the emotion Michelle always did. And it was rewarded the same way – with a silver medal.

Witnessing an upset that could be chalked up to the judges rewarding a routine that was backloaded with jumps during the last two minutes to earn a 10% bonus but lacked a bit of artistry instead of one that was choreographed and executed beautifully to display artistry and jumping ability has left me brokenhearted and disillusioned with the judging system. What happened to having the total package?

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose woman, I don’t begrudge Tara or Alina their gold medals. They worked hard and earned them. I’m just sad that two skaters who worked so much longer to reach the status they did didn’t win the culminating prize. Was Evgenia robbed? I’m not saying that, but again, many are having a fit! Why the fuss? She’s only eighteen and could come back in 2022, right? After all, Michelle did in 2002 – to have sixteen-year-old Sarah Hughes win the gold and her the bronze.  Michelle competed for eight years after the 1998 Olympics. (Tara retired almost immediately after winning and Sarah did the year after she won). Still, though she never won the gold, Michelle has conducted herself with as much grace off the ice as she did on it. She went on to earn a Master’s and to serve as a goodwill ambassador for the US. Twenty years after her Olympic loss, she still displays the true heart of a champion. My prayer is that Evgenia will follow in Michelle’s skates.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose reader, what’s your take on this trending topic?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach