|Born||Katherine Noel Brosnahan
December 24, 1962
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
|Education||Arizona State University - (B.S. - 1985)|
|Known for||Creator of "kate spade New York" brand|
|Spouse(s)||Andy Spade (m. 1994)|
|Children||Frances Beatrix - (b. 2005)|
Early life and beginnings
Spade was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated from St. Teresa's Academy, an all-girl Catholic high school after spending some time at Notre Dame de Sion all-girl Catholic prep school with her sister Rhetta. She attended the University of Kansas and then transferred to and graduated from Arizona State University, where she majored in journalism, worked in a motorcycle bar, and is a member of the Omega chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
In 1986, Spade worked in the accessories department of Mademoiselle in Manhattan, where she was credited in the magazine's masthead with her maiden name as Katy Brosnahan. While at Mademoiselle, she met and moved in with Andy Spade (brother of actor and comic David Spade), a native of Scottsdale, Arizona; the two were working side-by-side as salespersons in a men's clothing store, Carter's Men Shop in Phoenix, Arizona. Together, they were featured in the magazine as part of a photo story on couples and love.
She left Mademoiselle in 1991, with the title of senior fashion editor/head of accessories. While working for Mademoiselle she noticed that the market lacked stylish and sensible handbags, and decided to create her own. With this in mind, Spade browsed local flea markets, began researching different styles, fabrics, production costs, and created a line of handbags with classic shapes, colors, and fabrics.
Spade and Joel Franklin launched their New York-based design company "kate spade handbags" in January 1993. As the name implies, they initially started out selling mainly handbags, but eventually extended to include stationery, personal organizers, address books, shoes, beauty products, perfume, raincoats, pajamas, and eyewear. In 2004, "kate spade at home" was launched as a home collection brand. It features bedding, bath items, china, wallpaper and various items for the home.
Spade has won numerous awards throughout her career. In 1996 the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded Kate "America's New Fashion Talent in Accessories" for her classic designs. In 1998, CFDA once again honored her for "Best Accessory Designer of the Year". Kate Spade's home collection won her three design awards in 2004, including, House Beautiful's "Giants of Design Award for Tastemaker", Bon Appetit's "American Food and Entertaining Award for Designer of the Year", and Elle Decor's "Elle Decor International Design Award for Bedding".
She married Andy Spade, the brother of actor/comedian David Spade, in 1994. The couple's only child, a daughter named Frances Beatrix Spade, was born in 2005.
- Buhmiller, Elisabeth (March 12, 1999). "PUBLIC LIVES; A Cautious Rise to a Top Name in Fashion". The New York Times.
- Ellyn Spragins, How We Bagged Our Careers, Fortune Small Business, 1 September 2003
- "Power Couple" Fast Company Magazine. March 1, 2005. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
- Kate Spade's biography at katespade.com