Opinion

Dear Kate

Fashion lovers, followers of pop culture, and the fashion world were all left at a loss for words when it was announced this week that iconic fashion designer Kate Spade has died. While the world is mourning the loss of a trendsetter, all of our thoughts have been with the designer’s daughter, husband, and the rest of their family.

These events lead me to reflect back on the value and meaning of the Kate Spade brand in my own life, and I ended up writing a letter to the designer and mother…

Dear Kate,

As a bit of a tomboy on a farm, I never knew much of famous American designers. But at the age of 21, I joined the Twitterverse and the first account I followed was Kate Spade NY.

The seed was planted. A dream was born.

Over the years I watched as friends and family showed off their beautiful Kate Spade products. Notebooks, wallets, earrings, bags. Eventually, I received a beautiful pair of bow earrings as gift — my first precious Kate Spade piece.

But it wasn’t until my 28th year that I was able to buy myself a beautiful KS purse. The joy I felt when the store assistant handed me that bag is indescribable. It feels silly to say out loud, but it was a dream come true, a sign that I have reached a certain level of elegance in my personal style.

My beautiful Kate Spade purse.

I realize, Kate, that by the time I discovered the label carrying your name you had already sold the business. But I like to believe that a little piece of you will always remain part of the label, that the dream and value of Kate Spade is something that you created. So I would like to thank you for gifting women around the world with your precious and happy designs.

My heart breaks at the thought of the pain and turmoil that you had to go through while the world couldn’t see past the happiness of your designs. But while the fashion world grieves the death of an icon, leader and creative genius, a little girl is grieving the loss of her mom. My heart reaches out to her — the ultimate victim of the darkness that depression brings. I hope that you will find peace now, and I hope that your family too will find comfort and peace in the knowledge that your pain has come to an end.

Thank you for the color you brought into this dark world. I wish that we could have given you more color and joy too.

Love,

Elmari

Ms. Spade’s death, characterized by police as a suicide, has also lead to confirmation that mental illness does not discriminate. Around the world, people are calling on those who struggle with depression to talk about it and to share with their friends, while we are also being asked to support those friends who suffer from mental illness as well as possible. 

I fully support these statements and hope that anyone reading this article both has a support system and will shape the support system for their loved ones.

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