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|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–present)|
Early life and education
Spade was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated from St. Teresa's Academy, an all-girl Catholic high school. She attended the University of Kansas and then transferred to and graduated from Arizona State University, joined Kappa Kappa Gamma and graduated with a degree in journalism.
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 in 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.
Spade launched her 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 1996 Kate Spade opened its first boutique, a 400-square-foot shop located in Manhattan's trendy SoHo district, and moved its headquarters into a 10,000-square-foot space in West 25th Street. 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.
Kate Spade & Co
In February 2014 Craig Leavitt became the CEO of Kate Spade & Co., which is a lifestyle accessories and fashion brand.
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".
Her niece is actress Rachel Brosnahan.
- Buhmiller, Elisabeth (March 12, 1999). "PUBLIC LIVES; A Cautious Rise to a Top Name in Fashion", nytimes.com; accessed May 6, 2015.
- Ellyn Spragins, How We Bagged Our Careers", Fortune Small Business, September 1, 2003.
- "kate spade LLC - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on kate spade LLC" Reference for Business. retrieved May 15, 2015.
- Lockwood, Lisa (February 3, 2014). "Kate Spade Gears Up for Growth". WWD. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
- "Power Couple" Fast Company Magazine. March 1, 2005; retrieved March 29, 2011.
- Kate Spade's biography at katespade.com