Katherine Noel Brosnahan (December 24, 1962 – June 5, 2018), known professionally as Kate Spade and Kate Valentine, was an American fashion designer and businesswoman. She was the founder and former co-owner of the designer brand Kate Spade New York.
After working in the accessories department at the fashion magazine Mademoiselle, Brosnahan and her husband, Andy Spade, identified a market for quality stylish handbags, and founded Kate Spade New York in 1993. The handbags Spade designed and produced quickly found popularity, owing to their sophistication and affordability, and have been described as a symbol of New York City in the 1990s.
The company expanded into other product lines. In 1999, Spade sold a 56-percent stake in her business to Neiman Marcus Group, and in 2006 sold the rest of her shares. In 2016, Spade and her partners launched a new fashion brand, Frances Valentine.
She is also known as Katherine Noel Brosnahan, Kate Valentine and Kate Valentine Spade.
A housekeeper found Spade dead in her Manhattan apartment on June 5, 2018. Her death was ruled a suicide by hanging. Police reported she had left a note addressed to her daughter. The day after his wife's death, Andy Spade released a statement regarding her depression and anxiety. The flagship Kate Spade New York store in Manhattan displayed a sign in its front window in her memory. Less than 3 weeks later, her father Earl "Frank" Brosnahan died on June 20, 2018 at the age of 89. Recently, Frank Brosnahan was in failing health but the Brosnahan family stated that he was absolutely "heartbroken over the recent death of his daughter". He died just minutes before Kate's funeral surrounded by family.