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Kate Spade Fell for Husband in University - She Referred to Him in Her Death Note to Her Daughter

Lois Oladejo
May 12, 2022
01:00 P.M.
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American fashion designer Kate Spade made a fortune and built a sustainable brand with her spouse, Andy Spade, during her lifetime. The couple was married for over two decades until tragedy struck and saw her pass away.


Kate Spade, born Kate Broshanan, was a student of Arizona University when she met her husband. The pair studied in the same school, with Kate majoring in Journalism and working at a clothing and motorcycle store.

They hit it off right from the start, with Kate recalling to NPR that Andy's car broke down one day, and she helped him home. According to her, they got to know each other from then, and the rest, they say, is history.

American fashion designer Kate Spade and husband Andy at a DIFFA benefit at Steuben Glass Works, New York City, 2000. | Source: Getty Images


Kate graduated college in 1985 and shuffled through Europe before getting a job in New York City. At the time, Andy was staying in Arizona, but he also moved to New York as time went on.

It was there they started the fashion brand named after Kate Spade. Kate quit her job at Conde Nast, and at Andy's prompting, she started designing bags. Andy's salary funded the small-scale business and dwindling retirement funds. 

The brand, Kate Spade New York, was not immediately a success, but Andy and Kate kept up the good work producing handmade bags that were marketed in stores like Barneys. Eventually, the duo married in 1994, legitimizing her business name Kate Spade.


By 1996, the brand found recognition. Kate won CFDA's Perry Ellis Award, and she grabbed attention with this success. Soon enough, she received orders from Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. 

Kate and Andy were not just a fusion of brains but a seemingly perfect couple. Through their marriage, the pair openly expressed their affection for each other. Former CFDA boss Fern Mallis once told People that they were suited to each other.


Kate also once shared that she and Andy had such mutual respect for each other that when it was time for work, there was no problem with being co-workers, as opposed to being husband and wife.

Once speaking about the best gift he'd ever given, Andy shared that it was on Kate's birthday. The entrepreneur recalled compiling a collage book that took six months.

Designer Kate Spade with daughter Beatrix Spade and Darcy Miller with her daughter Daisy Nussabaum at the 5,000 performance celebration of "Mamma Mia!" on Broadway at Broadhurst Theatre on November 9, 2013 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images


The content included subway tokens and some of Kate's hair he snipped while she slept. The pair welcomed their daughter Frances more than a decade after their marriage.

Frances was born in 2005, and in 2006, her parents took a break from their business to spend more time with her and bond as a family. 


Kate Spade, Frances Spade and Jack Spade at Jack Spade Fall 2007 Collection at Jack Spade Showroom on February 8, 2007 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images


There was more to their marriage with Kate and Andy than meets the eyes. The couple had marital issues, and according to reports, they considered divorce. A source shared with People that the two had "relationship problems."

There were also reports that Andy was looking for a separate apartment while he and Kate dealt with their issues.

A friend of the family, Cornelius Guest, shared that the pair seemed to be "the perfect" couple, but no one could decipher what went on behind closed doors. 


Andy Spade, CEO and Creative Director of Kate Spade, and designer Kate Spade at OPEN from American Express' "Making a Name for Yourself" at Nokia Theater July 27, 2006 in New York City.. | Source: Getty Images


During Kate's marital woes with Andy, tragedy struck the family. Her housekeeper found the bag designer unresponsive on a fateful day in 2018. 

The housekeeper quickly informed the superintendent. The latter went to the scene and administered CPR. Unfortunately, the paramedics would later declare Kate dead on the scene.


According to law enforcement, Kate left behind a short note addressed to her daughter. The star mom had informed Frances that it was "not" her fault. She also told the then-10-year-old to "Ask daddy!"

Andy would later address the alleged content of his wife's death note, stating that he did not see such. He also said that he and Kate were not trying to get a divorce but were successfully co-parenting their daughter. 


Just when the family thought to put themselves together and bury Kate, her father, Frank Broshanan, passed on.

Frank reportedly died a day before Kate was laid to rest. He was said to have died of a broken heart due to his daughter's passing. 



Following his wife's passing, Andy debunked rumors about their divorce. However, he also penned that Kate suffered depression and anxiety for years while she actively sought help.

Andy's actor brother David Spade also broke his silence on Kate's death as he grieved with the family. He shared an Instagram post, including a photo of himself and Kate. David accompanied the snapshot with a tribute of how he remembered the late designer.

Frances Spade and Kate Spade at New York City Opera's Family Benefit Jules Massenets Cendrillon at New York State Theater on November 18, 2007 in New York City. | Source


Finally, the comedian concluded his post by warning fans of a rough world out there. Six months after Kate's death, Andy and their daughter Frances "Bea" moved to California. He shared an Instagram post stating how he planted a Christmas tree to honor her. 



The mystery surrounding Kate's death did not die down. Although her husband has resorted to a quieter life, there have been talks about the details of her death. 

Kate's sister Reta Saffo revealed that her suicide was not unexpected because the fashion pro suffered a mental illness for years. This statement riled other family members who claimed that Saffo was estranged from Kate. 


Saffo further claimed that her sister was surrounded by "yes people" for years, and this masked her bipolar tendencies and a solution to the problems.

Saffo also shared that Kate became obsessed with taking her life after late actor Robin Williams' suicide in 2014. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at