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Designer Kate Spade found dead in apartment

June 5, 2018

New York fashion designer Kate Spade was found hanged in her Park Avenue apartment Tuesday morning in an apparent suicide, law enforcement officials said.

The 55-year-old left a note at the scene and was found by housekeeping at about 10:20 a.m. It's not clear how long she had been dead. The medical examiner will perform an autopsy.

The officials said she was found with a red scarf around her neck attached to a doorknob. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Spade created a line of sleek handbags in the early 1990s that created a smash. Her former company, Kate Spade New York, has more than 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the U.S., including one in Indianapolis at the Fashion Mall at Keystone, and more than 175 shops internationally. The company is major player in an industry that includes Indiana-based Vera Bradley Inc.

A company representative did not immediately respond to phone and e-mail requests.

She walked away from the company in 2007, a year after it was acquired from the Neiman Marcus Group for $125 million by the company then known as Liz Claiborne Inc. In 2017, Coach bought the brand for $2.4 billion.

Spade and her husband Andy started a new handbag company a few years ago, Frances Valentine. And she changed her name to Katherine Noel Frances Valentine Brosnahan Spade, she said in an NPR interview this year.

In addition to her husband, Spade is survived by a daughter, born in 2005.

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