Kate Spade was known for her whimsical, colorful designs that instantly brought smiles to those who loved her fashion, but privately she battled depression and anxiety for years (via Reuters). Tragically, the fashion designer died by suicide in June 2018, leaving behind her husband and business partner, Andy Spade, and their daughter, Frances Beatrix “Bea” Spade, who is now 15.
Although the couple founded the Kate Spade New York brand together, they sold their stake in 2005 so they could spend more time with Bea (via Town and Country). The family continued to reside in New York City, where Andy worked on freelance projects for companies like J. Crew and launched a branding company.
The day after Kate’s death, Andy released a statement to The New York Times expressing the family’s shock and grief and requesting privacy. “My main concern is Bea and protecting her privacy as she deals with the unimaginable grief of losing her mother,” the statement concluded. “Kate loved Bea so very much.”
Andy relocated to California with Bea after the tragedy
Less than six months after Kate’s death, People reported that Andy and Bea had moved to the West Coast. Elyce Arons, CEO of Frances Valentine and a longtime friend of Kate’s, told the outlet that the pair was living in California and Andy’s priority was taking care of Bea.
In August 2019, Page Six reported that Andy and Bea had moved into a new home in Oakland, California. In a touching Instagram post, Andy shared a photo of a Christmas tree he and Bea had planted outside their new Bay Area home. “Dear Katy, this tree is for you,” he wrote in the caption. “Bea and are planting it outside of our big window to keep your magical spirit and energy close to us every day. It will bless our new home in California and radiate your essence 365 days a year.”
Andy has kept a low profile since Kate’s death, but he is committed to keeping her memory alive — and he has an important message for anyone struggling with their mental health (via The Los Angeles Times). On what would have been Kate’s 57th birthday in 2019, Andy urged people to “seek help if you are feeling helpless or lost” and to “ask friends and relatives if they are okay” in order to keep an open dialogue about mental health.
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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