A look back on Kate Spade's 199740 under 40 honor

Gustavo Caballero via Getty Images                   Andy Spade and Kate Spade appear at the Three As Four show during New York Fashion Week in September 2007

The couple, who co-founded the eponymous brand Kate Spade New York in 1993, were married for 24 years and have one child, 13-year-old daughter Frances Beatrix Spade.

Speaking to the New York Times, Andy Spade says Kate was "actively seeking help" over the past five years for anxiety and depression.

Police said at the time they believed her death was an apparent suicide. News. "She was the kindest person I've ever known and my best friend for 35 years".

Celebrity news website TMZ cited police sources as saying Spade had fallen into depression in recent weeks after her husband left her and was seeking divorce.

He also says the two had been living separately, but had not discussed divorce. She started the company based on six shapes of bags that she thought every working woman needed. "They agreed to fly in and talk with her and take her with them to the treatment center". "Everyone loves to get a letter", Spade told the Associated Press in 2006, explaining that she never used computers and had her staff print out emails.

As you've no doubt heard by now, Kate Spade took her own life in her New York City apartment on Tuesday.

Crain's NY is taking a look back on Kate Spade's 40 Under 40 honor in 1997, when she was a fresh face in the handbag world. "I was Kate Brosnahan, and I kept coming up with these names, and Andy kept saying 'Kate Spade" because we were 50-50 partners", she told NPR.

Spade also confirmed Kate, 55, battled mental illness. The husband-and-wife duo parted ways with their successful company in 2007, after selling to Liz Claiborne Inc.

Coach, now known as Tapestry, bought the Kate Spade brand previous year for $2.4 billion. The pair had amicably separated about 10 months before her death. Over a decade ago, she sold the business and later launched a luxury line Frances Valentine.

Most shocking of all, Reta revealed, "One of the last things she said to me was, 'Reta, I know you hate funerals and don't attend them, but for me would you PLEASE come to MINE, at least".

CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat said in a briefing: "From individuals and communities to employers and healthcare professionals, everyone can play a role in efforts to help save lives and reverse this troubling rise in suicide".

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