'You don't know me but I know you': After Kate Spade's death, people are sharing how the designer touched their lives through fashion

Kate Taylor
Kate Spade

AP/Bebeto Matthews


  • Kate Spade was found dead on Tuesday.
  • Many people shared stories on social media about the impact of Spade's designs on their lives.
  • Spade touched many lives over the years, with many people saying the designer's bags and other products helped guide them into adulthood. 

On Tuesday, the fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in her apartment in New York in an apparent suicide.

Spade was a hugely influential figure in the fashion industry. Her namesake business, Kate Spade New York, has more than 315 stores globally, including more than 140 in the US.

People on social media are sharing how Spade's designs touched their lives over the years. Known for iconic bags and classic pieces, the Kate Spade brand is instantly recognizable and nostalgic for many.

"It seems trivial and silly but Kate Spade was a huge part of my coming of age, a preppy security blanket during my least secure time," one person wrote in a caption on a high-school photo on Instagram. "I even had a pencil case. I'm shocked to hear of her tragic passing today, she was clearly in unbearable pain."

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"You don't know me but I know you," says another caption on a photo of a Kate Spade bag. "You brought a simplicity and peace to my life through clean lines and high contrast. Your happy polka dots and florals have always helped me find clarity among the chaos. It's what you stood for and it helped me find myself."

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Chelsea Clinton tweeted: "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."

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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.

For many, Kate Spade brings back memories of years past

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RIP Kate Spade. I pressured my parents to save up and buy one of your bags in 8th grade because everyone had to have one -- The Sam Bag, but in slate grey. My goth JAP era wishes you peace. My current one knows you have it.

If you're going through something, call: 1-800-273-8255 pic.twitter.com/iWWb64MMpo Tweet Embed:
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This Kate Spade purse was one of the first “nice” things I ever owned and was a staple of all my bar/bat mitzvah outfits. A classic pic.twitter.com/wkNdwP5igu Tweet Embed:
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I remember saving up for my first Kate Spade bag in my very early 20s and when I finally got it and removed it from the dust bag, I felt invincible and accomplished. Rest in peace. Instagram Embed:
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Spade's designs were hugely influential for many

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Kate Spade really defined what it meant to look and feel "Adult" for a certain group of women. Tweet Embed:
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I was so thrilled when I got my first Kate Spade bag - the only line that really seemed to "get" the feeling of being quirky and polished and girly (and blissfully not "designer-y"/avant-garde) all at once. Is it strange to be so sad about a person I've never met? Tweet Embed:
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I imagine many women like me feel a part of themselves has died today. Thank you, Kate Spade, for recognizing the power of our purse. https://t.co/yLmASmTp5v

People took the opportunity to thank the designer for the work she did

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Thank you, Kate. Peace be with you.#katespade#MyFavoriteKatepic.twitter.com/V9Yuu6O7yV Tweet Embed:
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Dear Kate Spade. This writer thanks you for all of the beautiful bags you brought into this world. pic.twitter.com/ZTO86Sx0ao Instagram Embed:
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Dozens of people who never met Spade paid tribute to the designer's impact on their lives

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I saved my money & waited for a big sale to buy a #katespade bag. It is still one of my favorite purchases ever. She is gone WAY to soon. If you or someone you know needs help or assistance, call 1-800-273-8255. Tell someone. We got you! pic.twitter.com/n2xda4OXQH Tweet Embed:
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Kate Spade gave weirdos, like me, a bag that made matched their quirky personality. pic.twitter.com/0NXVqxBGIk Tweet Embed:
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Just hearing the Kate Spade news, and am broken-hearted. Her bags are a special thing my dad gets for me and my stepsister (and we have a Kate Spade shower curtain back home because I'm the New Yorker). Her products have always been so sentimental to me. Terribly sad. Instagram Embed:
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If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.

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