Who Is Kate Spade?

By Staff Writer
September 20, 2001

by Tanya McCausland

staff writer

Former Madmoiselle fashion editor/stylist, Kate Spade, has made a huge impact on the designer world with her fun, classy handbags, totes and purses. Frustrated that she couldn’t find the perfect handbag to suit her style, Spade decided it would be easier to just design her own.

In 1993, Spade and her boyfriend, now husband, Andy brother of actor, David Spade, combined their efforts to launch the accessories company “Kate Spade.” Her having been a fashion accessories editor for six years and him being a director and writer at an advertising company made them a perfect match. Soon after, six simple tote bags were designed. Made of nylon with three different color choices, Spade designed a classic bag that is still her number one seller and her signature style.

In 1996 Kate was awarded, “America’s new fashion talent in accessories” by the Council of Fashion Designers (CFDA). Two years later the CFDA awarded her “accessory designer of the year.”

After gaining so much popularity in such a short time and receiving two awards, Spade finally decided to open its own shop at 59 Thompson St. in New York City. In the fall of 1997 the company outgrew its original location and moved to 454 Broome St. A second store opened soon after in Los Angeles in April of 1998.

Since entering the fashion world in 1993, Spade has designed a line to include paper products, shoes and pajamas. This past spring she introduced a line of ophthalmic glasses and sunglasses. This fall we can look forward to a collection of beauty products.

Kate Spade bags are known for being classy, functional and well made. Ranging between $85 and $200 they can often be pricey, but many believe that to be worth it. Often knock-offs can be bought on street corners in bigger cities between $20 and $40.

In an interview with B. Smith, the hostess of B. Smith with style syndicated television show, Spade said her motto is “If it will be out of style tomorrow, it won’t be added to the line today.” Her bags and other accessories are all definitely part of this motto. They show her sense of humor, classic style and fashion sense. Kate describes her bags in one sentence, “Clean shapes, classic fabrics and an element of individuality.”

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