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Kate Spade was battling depression says husband Andy Spade

  • Andy Spade is speaking out for the first time since the death of his wife Kate 
  • He explained Kate had suffered from depression and anxiety for 'many years'
  • He went on to reveal that there were no signs Kate had planned to take her life
  • Andy also said that the two had been living apart for some time 
  • Kate committed suicide by hanging herself with a scarf on Tuesday

By Chris Spargo For Dailymail.com

Published: 18:51 EDT, 6 June 2018 | Updated: 19:47 EDT, 6 June 2018

The husband of designer Kate Spade is speaking out for the first time since his wife's death on Tuesday in an interview with The New York Times.

'Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives,' said Andy.

'We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.'

He went on to reveal that there were no signs Kate had planned to take her life, and said her death had left him and their daughter Bea heartbroken.

Andy also said that the two had been living apart for some time. 

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Difficult time: Andy Spade is speaking out for the first time since the death of his wife Kate on Tuesday (couple above in 2016)
Difficult time: Andy Spade is speaking out for the first time since the death of his wife Kate on Tuesday (couple above in 2016)

Difficult time: Andy Spade is speaking out for the first time since the death of his wife Kate on Tuesday (couple above in 2016)

In the beginning: Kate and her husband back in 1993 (above) when they first launched the line of handbags in New York City
In the beginning: Kate and her husband back in 1993 (above) when they first launched the line of handbags in New York City

In the beginning: Kate and her husband back in 1993 (above) when they first launched the line of handbags in New York City

'For the past 10 months we had been living separately, but within a few blocks of each other. Bea was living with both of us and we saw each other or spoke every day,' said Andy.

'We ate many meals together as a family and continued to vacation together as a family. Our daughter was our priority.'

He continued: 'We were not legally separated, and never even discussed divorce. We were best friends trying to work through our problems in the best way we knew how. We were together for 35 years. We loved each other very much and simply needed a break.'   

Andy praised his late wife as well in his remarks. 

'Kate was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the kindest person I’ve ever known and my best friend for 35 years,' he noted.

'My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her. We are deeply heartbroken and miss her already.' 

His comments also refute claims that the designer had a drinking problem, which had been made by both Kate's sister and TMZ.

It was also TMZ that reported that Andy had wanted to divorce his wife.

ANDY SPADE SPEAKS OUT ABOUT THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE KATE 

Kate was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the kindest person I’ve ever known and my best friend for 35 years. My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her. We are deeply heartbroken and miss her already.

Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives. We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.

For the past 10 months we had been living separately, but within a few blocks of each other. Bea was living with both of us and we saw each other or spoke every day. We ate many meals together as a family and continued to vacation together as a family. Our daughter was our priority. We were not legally separated, and never even discussed divorce. We were best friends trying to work through our problems in the best way we knew how. We were together for 35 years. We loved each other very much and simply needed a break.

This is the truth. Anything else that is out there right now is false. She was actively seeking help for depression and anxiety over the last 5 years, seeing a doctor on a regular basis and taking medication for both depression and anxiety. There was no substance or alcohol abuse. There were no business problems. We loved creating our businesses together. We were co-parenting our beautiful daughter. I have yet to see any note left behind and am appalled that a private message to my daughter has been so heartlessly shared with the media.

My main concern is Bea and protecting her privacy as she deals with the unimaginable grief of losing her mother. Kate loved Bea so very much.

 

Andy was spotted heading into an Upper East Side apartment one day after his designer wife committed suicide by hanging herself with a scarf.

He was accompanied by his friend and lawyer Bruce Herzog, who joined Andy earlier in the day at the nearby apartment he has been renting for $12,000 a month.

Andy kept his head down and said nothing as he hurried into the apartment building.  

Kate was found 'unresponsive and unconscious' by a housekeeper on Tuesday in her bedroom.

It was initially reported that her husband had been home at the time, but it is now unclear if he had been there when the body was found or arrived at the apartment prior to police.

DailyMail.com learned that Andy had been renting a $12,000-a-month apartment nearby for a little over a year.

In her suicide note to her daughter Frances Beatrix, 13, Kate said that the teenager was not to blame for her death and expressed her love for her only child.

Andy was seen with the couple's daughter on Tuesday at the girl's school, with a source telling DailyMail.com that he arrived with a police officer to get his daughter and tell her the news.

That same source said Andy was 'shook up' after the death of his wife, and concerned about the impact it might have on his daughter.

'Bea is his only concern and number one priority at this point,' said the source.  

First sighting: Andy Spade (above with lawyer Bruce Herzog in blue) was seen for the first time since his wife's death on Wednesday in NYC
First sighting: Andy Spade (above with lawyer Bruce Herzog in blue) was seen for the first time since his wife's death on Wednesday in NYC

First sighting: Andy Spade (above with lawyer Bruce Herzog in blue) was seen for the first time since his wife's death on Wednesday in NYC

Difficult time: He was joined by his friend and lawyer Bruce Herzog, who met him earlier in the day at the $12,000-a-month he is renting nearby 
Difficult time: He was joined by his friend and lawyer Bruce Herzog, who met him earlier in the day at the $12,000-a-month he is renting nearby 

Difficult time: He was joined by his friend and lawyer Bruce Herzog, who met him earlier in the day at the $12,000-a-month he is renting nearby 

Low profile: Andy made no comment and kept his head down as he hurried into an apartment building on the Upper East Side (above)
Low profile: Andy made no comment and kept his head down as he hurried into an apartment building on the Upper East Side (above)
Heading in: In her suicide note to her daughter Frances Beatrix, 13, Kate said that the teen was not to blame for her death and expressed her love for her only child (Andy above on Wednesday entering the couple's Park Avenue apartment )
Heading in: In her suicide note to her daughter Frances Beatrix, 13, Kate said that the teen was not to blame for her death and expressed her love for her only child (Andy above on Wednesday entering the couple's Park Avenue apartment )

Low profile: Andy made no comment and kept his head down as he hurried into an apartment building on the Upper East Side (above)

Among those paying tribute on Wednesday was actress Rachel Brosnahan, the Golden Globe-winning star of House of Cards and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

She was also Kate's niece.

Brosnahan posted a video of Kate smiling and laughing as she danced with her husband Andy, writing: 'Knowing Katy, this is how she would want to be remembered. She had a light that words can’t capture but touched everyone she came into contact with.

'She was exceedingly kind, beautifully sensitive, insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known. She was effervescent.'

Brosnahan then closed out her post by saying: 'Hug your loved ones extra tight today.'

That video of happier times was shared as sources tell DailyMail.com that Kate and Andy's marriage was crumbling in the months before the designer ended her life at the age of 55 by hanging herself with a scarf.

Michael Kors wrote: 'Charming, talented and gone too soon. Rest in peace Kate.'

She was also remembered by the grand doyenne of the fashion world, Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

'Kate Spade had an enviable gift for understanding exactly what women the world over wanted to carry,' said Wintour.

'She launched her label at a time when everyone thought that the definition of a handbag was strictly European, all decades-old serious status and wealth.

'Then along came this thoroughly American young woman who changed everything.

'There was a moment when you couldn't walk a block in New York without seeing one of her bags, which were just like her; colorful and unpretentious.'

Happier times: Kate Spade laughs and smiles while dancing with her husband Andy in a video shared by her niece, actress Rachel Brosnahan (Kate Spade and husband Andy dance in video) 
Happier times: Kate Spade laughs and smiles while dancing with her husband Andy in a video shared by her niece, actress Rachel Brosnahan (Kate Spade and husband Andy dance in video) 

Happier times: Kate Spade laughs and smiles while dancing with her husband Andy in a video shared by her niece, actress Rachel Brosnahan (Kate Spade and husband Andy dance in video) 

Kate shot to fame in the mid-90s thanks to her eponymous line of handbags and was also the aunt of Rachel Brosnahan, the star of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

Andy and Kate Spade bought the nine-room apartment in which she died in 1999 for $2.675 million, and also owned a vineyard in Napa Valley.

The couple launched their design line back in 1993, starting at first with just handbags before expanding to clothes and other accessories.

Three years in the couple was able to open their first store, and for the next decade continue to grow the company.

She had launched international and home lines by 2004, having by that point sold off most of her company.

Andy also launched a men's line of bags, Jack Spade, in 1996, which is still sold at stores such as Barneys.

Neiman Marcus purchased 56 per cent of the company in 1999 and the remaining 44 per cent by 2006, at which time Kate left the business to raise her daughter. 

Andy continued to work with brands including Target, J.Crew and Warby Parker while also launching the design studio partners & Spade.

By 2006, the company was valued at $125 million, and Kate left for good the following year after Neiman sold Kate Spade & Co to Liz Claiborne that same year.

In the decade since she sold her ownership Kate Spade has continued to grow, and in 2017 the brand was purchased by Coach for an astonishing $2.4 billion.

In 2016, Kate told People how the couple survived living and working together.

'Treat them as well as you would any other employee. What I mean is we need to respect one another as much as you do the other people in the office. I've had to learn to be as respectful.'

She added that both had 'different personalities.'

'He's more relaxed more of a risk taker and I'm a little more detailed and uptight neurotic.'

Family: 'Knowing Katy, this is how she would want to be remembered,' wrote Brosnahan, later adding: 'Hug your loved ones extra tight today' (Brosanahan and Kate Spade above in 2016)
Family: 'Knowing Katy, this is how she would want to be remembered,' wrote Brosnahan, later adding: 'Hug your loved ones extra tight today' (Brosanahan and Kate Spade above in 2016)

Family: 'Knowing Katy, this is how she would want to be remembered,' wrote Brosnahan, later adding: 'Hug your loved ones extra tight today' (Brosanahan and Kate Spade above in 2016)

David shared this snap of himself with a smiling Kate during Christmas, saying, 'We had so much fun that day'
David shared this snap of himself with a smiling Kate during Christmas, saying, 'We had so much fun that day'

David shared this snap of himself with a smiling Kate during Christmas, saying, 'We had so much fun that day'

Kate had just recently tried to reenter the fashion world with the launch of Frances Valentine, a line of luxury handbags and shoes.

The couple took no investors and focused on slowly rolling out the brand in select markets.

In an interview with WWD in 2015 she discussed how she came to name the brand, stating: 'My grandfather, father, brother, and my daughter's name is Frances. And then Valentine was my mom's dad's middle name because he was born on Valentine's Day.'

CELEBRITIES PAY TRIBUTE TO KATE SPADE AFTER SUICIDE AT 55

The line was sold at Nordstrom, Saks and Bloomingdales.

She was twice honored by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1996 as an emerging accessories designer to watch and again in 1998 as the best accessories designer of the year.

That same group held its annual gala and awards show on Monday in Brooklyn, which Spade did not attend.

In a statement released shortly after her death, CFDA heads Steven Kolb and Diane von Furstenberg said: 'The CFDA is devastated to hear the news of our friend, colleague, and CFDA member Kate Spade's tragic passing. She was a great talent who had an immeasurable impact on American fashion and the way the world viewed American accessories.

'We want to honor her life and her major contribution to the fashion business and express our most sincere condolences to the family.'

Spade was a member of the CFDA and would have been invited to the group's annual event on Monday but did not attend, with the designer making few public appearances after giving birth.

A number of celebrities paid tribute to Spade on Tuesday in the wake of her death.

'#KateSpade, whose lively, colorful, and yes, joyous designs has died. My deepest sympathy to her family and friends, and her many fans around the world, who loved the wonderful illusions she created. I am stunned,' wrote Bette Midler.

'I am heartbroken about the news of Kate Spade. I have worn her clothes many, many times. They were colorful, bold, cheerful, and encouraged women to find the twinkly person inside them. You couldn't walk into her boutiques and not smile. Rest In Peace, Kate,' said Mindy Kalling.

'My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kate's family, friends and loved ones in my heart,' Chelsea Clinton posted on Twitter.

Ivanka Trump also tweeted, saying: 'Kate Spade's tragic passing is a painful reminder that we never truly know another's pain or the burden they carry. If you are struggling with depression and contemplating suicide, please, please seek help.'

Nikki Haley also tweeted a similar message, writing: 'The passing of Kate Spade is a stark reminder that we never know the struggles of a person regardless of their outward persona. If you or anyone you love is struggling, there is help. You don't have to be alone.'

The designer was born Kate Brosnahan in Kanasas City, where she attended an all-girls school before heading off to college at the University of Kansas.

Kate decided to transfer to Arizona State University and study journalism, which is where she met her husband.

She graduated in 1985 and spent the next six years working for Mademoiselle in New York City, eventually landing herself the role of senior fashion editor.

In 1991 she left the magazine and decided to go out on her own with a line of purses, believing there was a gap in the market she could fill.

Kate had no experience designing handbags at the time she explained in a 2016 interview with NPR for their podcast How I Built It.

'It's funny. You know, Andy and I were talking one night. And I just said - I was looking ahead and I saw the fashion directors. That would be your next jump from being senior fashion editor. And I thought, I don't really see myself wanting that job. So Andy and I were out, honestly, at a Mexican restaurant,' recalled Kate.

'And he just said, what about handbags? And I said, honey, you just don't start a handbag company. And he said, why not? How hard can it be? I thought, OK, really? He regrets those words.'

Back at it: Kate filmed a video soon after the relaunch to discuss some of her favorite things, and posted it on the Frances Valentine site (above)
Back at it: Kate filmed a video soon after the relaunch to discuss some of her favorite things, and posted it on the Frances Valentine site (above)

Back at it: Kate filmed a video soon after the relaunch to discuss some of her favorite things, and posted it on the Frances Valentine site (above)

She said that production got underway on what she felt the handbag market was missing at the time.

'At the time, things were very - bags were too complicated. And I really loved very simple kind of architectural shapes. And I would wear these very simple shapes, none of which were famous designers. I mean, there were no names. If someone were to say, whose is that? I'd say, I don't know, I bought it at a vintage store or it's a straw bag I got in Mexico,' explained Kate.

'So - and they were all very square and simple. And I thought, gosh, I mean, why can't we find something just clean and simple and modern?'

A year after launching the company, Kate and Andy were married.

She continued to expand for the 15 years she worked at her eponymous company, and in 2002 entered the very lucrative fragrance market, teaming up with Estee Lauder to release bath and body products as well as a honeysuckle fragrance.

By 1998, Kate had one of the most successful brands in fashion, and a year later Neiman Marcus purchased a controlling share of the company, valued then at $23 million.

It was that same year that the two bought their Park Avenue palazzo, just a few blocks from Central Park and the Met.

They also purchased a home on Main Street in Southampton in 1996 for $218,500 according to property records.

Inside Kate and Andy Spade's 24 year marriage

1983 - Kate Brosnahan meets Andrew Spade after transferring to Arizona State University. The two began dating shortly after they meet while working together at clothing store when Andy asks Kate for a ride home.

1985 - Kate graduates from ASU and spends the summer backpacking around Europe before moving to New York City. Andy remains at ASU to finish his degree. 

 1986 - Kate lands a job at the fashion magazine Mademoiselle, then part of the Conde Nast family. As a result, she decides to skip her plan to move back to Arizona and Andy instead follows Kate to New York. He soon lands a job at the advertising firm Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt. 

1991 - Kate rises through the ranks and eventually lands the role of senior fashion editor at Mademoiselle after five years at the magazine. While out to dinner one night she expresses her disinterest in continuing on at Conde Nast however, at which point Andy suggests she try and use her accessories knowledge to design. He then suggests handbags, and Kate decides to give designing a shoot.

The Spades in 2000 at the Whitney Gala
The Spades in 2000 at the Whitney Gala

The Spades in 2000 at the Whitney Gala

1992 - Andy cashes in his 401k and withdraws his savings as Kate gets to work. In the beginning she would shape her bags out of white paper and then take them to a pattern maker whose information she found in WWD. The industry publication also helped her to find a manufacturer after Kate called up and asked for a recommendation. At the same time, Andy leaves New York and moves to Los Angeles after receiving a job offer from Saatchi & Saatchi

1993 - Kate Spade launches, with the designer choosing to take her first name and Andy's surname despite the fact that the two are not married. The first collection of burlap bags with raffia fringe is rolled out at a trade show at the Javits Center in New York, with the couple decorating their booth in the style of their apartment. Kate breaks down in tears and tells Andy she wants to quit after failing to sell enough bags on the first day to cover their booth, despite getting orders from both Barney's and Fred Seagal. Andy urges her to continue on with the line.

1994 - Kate and Andy are married. Kate's bags are featured in a number of American fashion magazines and the brand becomes a favorite among editors. Towards the end of the year Kate and Andy call investors and tell them they are done with the brand, citing the fact that they do not see the company being profitable. The investors tell them to keep going. 

1995 - Kate wins the Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Soon after, Neiman Marcus increases their order from just four stores to all of their retail outlets across the country. Saks soon follows suit.

1996 - The first Kate Spade standalone store opens in New York City, with 300 square feet of retail space in Soho.

1997 - Kate's handbags become the purse of choice for women in New York and Los Angeles.

1998 - The company begins to expand as Kate's collection of nylon designs officially achieve 'It' bag status.

1999 - Neiman Marcus pays $34 million to purchase a 56 percent stake in Kate Spade. The new influx of cash prompts Kate and Andy to explore new markets. The couple also purchases their Park Avenue apartment for just under $3 million. 

2000 - Kate Spade signs a deal with Estee Lauder to begin developing beauty and beauty-related products. 

2003 - Kate Spade launches her first fragrance, Kate Spade. 

2004 - Andy opens a Jack Spade store in Soho, selling men's bags and fashions while Kate expands to home ware and opens her first store abroad in Japan. The company is valued at $70 million. 

2005 - After years of expansion and the opening of more standalone stores, Kate gives birth to a daughter, Frances Beatrix.

2006 - Neiman Marcus buys the remaining 44 percent of Kate Spade, gaining outright ownership of the company in a deal that values the company at $124 million.

2007 - Kate and Andy Spade leave the company they founded 14 years prior. Kate says she wants to devote herself to raising her daughter.

2008 - Andy opens the advertising and branding studio Partners & Spade> he quickly signs major brands who roll out campaigns in the firm's signature aesthetic. These include Warby Parker, Target, Hims, Harry's, Nordstrom, J Crew, Whole Foods, Casper and Shinola.

2013 - Andy launches a line of sleep and loungewear, Sleepy Jones. 

2015 - Kate Spade makes the decision to return to the world of fashion with her new line, Frances Valentine.

2016 - Kate officially launches Frances Valentine and legally changes her name to Kate Valentine Spade.

2017 - Kate Spade sells to Coach for $2.4 billion. 

Source: NPR 

Kate's eponymous company also released a statement on Tuesday, saying: 'Kate has not been affiliated with the brand for more than a decade, she and her husband and creative partner, Andy, were the founders of our beloved brand. Kate will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time.'

Kate's pioneering work paved the way for such talent as Tory Burch and Jenna Lyons of J Crew, while her initial designs are still strikingly similar to many of the handbags being sold by major American fashion brands.

In a 2016 interview with Wall Street Journal, Kate spoke about how even through she had returned to the world of fashion her daughter was still her priority.

'I kind of thought taking that time off was unbelievably amazing,' she said of her decade-long absence .

'I thought it was, like, a gift. I really did.'

Once back at work, it was including her only child that made work a delight for Kate, and she described her excitement at getting to go to the studio with Frances on the weekends.

Kate is the third major designer to take her life in the past decade, with L'Wren Scott committing suicide in 2014 and Alexander McQueen also ending his life in 2010.

All three hanged themselves.

If you or anyone you know needs to talk, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Lifeline Australia 13 11 14

To contact the Samaritans, visit www.samaritans.org or call 116 123. 

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