American fashion icon Kate Spade was found dead in her Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan on Tuesday in what appears to have been a suicide by hanging.
According to The New York Times, the police said that Spade, 55, was found unresponsive at a Park Avenue apartment, where she appears to have hanged herself. "She had left a note, but the official did not comment on what it said," the Times reports. "She was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:26 a.m."
The famed fashion designer was found in her bedroom with a red scarf tied to a doorknob, according to the housekeeper who found her. She leaves behind a husband of 24 years and a 13-year-old daughter named Frances.
The Kate Spade fashion brand began in the '90s following her marriage to Andy Spade, brother of famed comedian David Spade. In 2017, Coach Inc. acquired Kate Spade New York for $2.4 billion. Her company's retail outlets boasted 175 shops internationally.
As noted by the Times, Kate Spade was "one of the first of a powerful wave of female American contemporary designers in the 1990s, built a brand on the appeal of clothes and accessories that made women smile."
"Her cheerful non-restraint struck a chord with consumers, as did her bright print," reports the outlet. "She herself was the embodiment of her aesthetic, with her proto-1960s bouffant, nerd glasses, and kooky grin, which masked a business mind that saw the opportunities in becoming a lifestyle brand, almost before the term officially existed."
As to why Spade appears to have committed suicide, no details have been provided. Her family has yet to make an official statement on the matter.