When Kate Spade tragically and unexpectedly took her own life on the fifth of June this year, fans of her fashion empire took to social media to express their condolences by posting photos of the first bag they bought from the eponymous brand. Her bright and colourful designs delighted people around the world. Purchasing a Kate Spade handbag almost became a rite of passage for a whole generation. The bags had a functionality to them which worked well for adults and a whimsical look that brought out the owner’s inner child. The designer will surely be missed but her legacy will live on forever in her designs and the memories they’ve inspired. Here is everything you need to know about Kate Spade handbags.
Kate Spade, née Bosnahan, moved to New York City from her hometown of Kansas City, Missouri after getting a journalism degree from Arizona State University. She kicked off her career at Mademoiselle Magazine in the accessories department. Within four years, she gained the title of Senior Fashion Editor/Head of Accessories and then graciously left her position.
Working in the accessories industry for several years, she felt that there weren’t any fashionable yet functional handbags available on the market. She then decided to launch her own line with the help of her supportive husband Andy Spade. She created six prototypes for purses using paper and tape to show to manufacturers. After an early fashion show, the world-famous New York department store Barneys ordered a few handbags to sell in their stores.
The brand then skyrocketed to success so much so that it was difficult to walk down the street in Manhattan without seeing one. Three years after launching the brand, Kate Spade opened a brick-and-mortar storefront in New York City’s most popular shopping district, SoHo.
That same year she was awarded “America’s New Fashion Talent in Accessories” by the Council of Fashion Designers in America.
Her accessories are now sold around the world. Her entrepreneurial spirit combined with her fun creations are still motivating people to follow their dreams. She additionally started the Kate Spade & Company Foundation, a charity that empowers financially vulnerable women in New York City to learn a trade. Who knows? Maybe the foundation will enable a young woman to start an accessories company that will impact the next generation.
“Live Colourfully” is the Kate Spade brand motto and it is perfectly encapsulated in her eye-catching designs.
The first purse ever made by Kate Spade in 1993 was called the “Sam.” It was a practical tote bag with the brand’s name modestly displayed in the top center. This was a far cry from the tiny monogrammed bags that most of the major fashion houses were selling at the time. It was structured, black, rectangular and waterproof due to its nylon exterior. The Sam bag could fit everything a working woman or college student would need whereas other bags barely held a lipstick tube. It has since been released in several different sizes, colours and patterns like florals and stripes. This was the bag that launched Kate Spade’s designs into the arms of so many people worldwide. It was not only the brand’s first design but was also the first designer bag many people purchased because of its functionality and affordability.
For her Spring/Summer 2006 campaign, she featured unique bags made out of the palm tree fibre. She created a new definition of “basket bags.” The purses came in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours all featuring the woven material. They somehow looked they would fit in on a luxury cruise, walking down the promenade in southern Italy, a nightclub, or the workplace. This collection brought bags and other accessories that resembled a picnic basket to the forefront of fashion and proved just how much of an icon Kate Spade was.
Kate Spade was known for creating fun clutch bags that look like other things. Like the “Samira” clutch that looks like a vintage radio that comes in pastel turquoise and ballet pink. She’s also made bags that look like New York City’s iconic taxicabs, black cats, peacock feathers and French bulldogs. These bags are definitely conversation starters. It’s almost impossible not to have a smile on your face while carrying a colourful lively purse.
If you have a Kate Spade handbag that you cherish and want to last forever, bring it to Love Your Purse today. We are Canada’s largest handbag and purse cleaning facility and we are dedicated to restoring our customer’s purses so that they look like they’re brand new. Contact us to find out more about our services and for a free estimate.