Kate Spade Finished 4 Seasons of New Handbag Designs Prior to Her Suicide, Says Business Partner
As sales of Kate Spade‘s original handbag styles continue to skyrocket following her tragic death, it has been revealed that the late designer also leaves behind a collection of new creations to continue her legacy.
Elyce Arons, a close friend of Spade and managing partner for Spade’s accessories line Frances Valentine, confirmed to Business Insider on Wednesday that the Kate Spade New York creator designed four seasons worth of completed work prior to her suicide on June 5.
Speaking about the “abundant library of her concepts” via email, Arons told Business Insider, “We don’t know what the future holds for us, but we are determined to continue to make her beautiful work live on through Frances Valentine.”
Spade launched Frances Valentine, her second act in fashion, 10 years after stepping away from her namesake company, Kate Spade New York. In 2016, she returned from a years-long fashion hiatus to launch the accessories, handbag and footwear brand that was named after her daughter Frances Beatrix, now 13 years old.
The original Kate Spade New York design team has been working for Frances Valentine, according to Arons, who has also worked with Kate’s husband Andy Spade on both brands.
“We have been inundated with calls and emails about product, but also about people’s emotional connection to Kate,” Arons said. “She was authentic, and I think people sensed that and really felt close to her.”
A former Frances Valentine publicist previously told PEOPLE: “This is incredibly sad. I had the opportunity to work with Kate when she launched Frances Valentine and I so enjoyed working with her and her incredible team. She was such a wonderful, kind, humble, creative person.”
WATCH: Kate Spade’s Husband Reveals She Battled Depression, Says They’d Been Living Apart for 10 Months
Spade’s fans experienced some fashion nostalgia following news of her death as they headed to fashion resale sites like thredUP and Poshmark in droves to try and get one of her iconic handbag designs from when she was at the helm of Kate Spade New York, before leaving along with husband Andy in 2007 to focus on raising her daughter. (The pair sold their stake in the company to Liz Claiborne, Inc. in 2006, and the brand was sold again in 2017 to Coach. The newly formed company, which also includes Stuart Weitzman, is now called Tapestry, Inc.)
In addition, most all items on the Frances Valentine website have been sold out since Spade’s death.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and founder, Kate Valentine Spade, who will remain in our hearts forever,” Frances Valentine wrote in an Instagram post alongside a black-and-white photograph of Spade.
“Kate Spade, the visionary founder of our brand, has passed,” the message read. “Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly heartbreaking time. We honor all the beauty she brought into this world.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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