Kate Spade: Woman, Brand, Style

Kate Spade, formerly known as Kate Valentine, is a 55-year-old woman and the co-founder of the Kate Spade brand. Spade was born in Missouri and attended Arizona State University with a major in journalism. Spade graduated in 1985, and then met her now husband, Andy Spade, while working side-by-side as salespersons in a men’s clothing store, Carter’s Men Shop here in Phoenix, AZ.

The Spade’s then launched Kate Spade Handbags in 1993 after Kate was inspired by the lack of stylish and sensible handbags during her time as a senior fashion editor at Mademoiselle. When Kate Spade Handbags was first launched they created mainly accessories, but in time, they expanded to fashion clothing, kitchen decor and utensils, and novels.

Spade philosophizes on event hostessing, style and etiquette all of which is written in her trilogy, “Occasions, Style, and Manners”, and in her book, “All in Good Taste”. Spade not only designs and creates fashion, she has developed and entire style for women of all ages. A style class and color that is meant to inspire women to have fun with fashion and to remain elegant in all walks of life.

Spade’s iconic style involves everything from bright colors, to fun phrases, to innovative and creative designs, all in addition to, a healthy assortment of spade symbols, bows, polka dots, chunky stripes, and glitter. Some of Spade’s most popular designs consist of: The phrases: “Eat Cake for Breakfast”, “Live Colorfully, and “Pop, Fizz, Clink”.

After 23 years of building up the brand and business, Spade decided to sell her brand and take some time to focus on raising her daughter. She first sold 56% of the Kate Spade brand to Neiman Marcus Group in 1999 and then sold them the remaining 44% in 2006. Immediately after acquiring the entire brand, Neiman Marcus then sold it to Liz Claiborne Inc for $124 million. For a short time, Kate Spade was renamed to Fifth & Pacific. Eight years later, Fifth & Pacific changed back to Kate Spade but is now called Kate Spade and Company.

Today, their products are sold in more than 450 stores worldwide and has over 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the United States alone. 
In just this past year, Spade launched her new brand, Frances Valentine, a collection of luxury footwear and handbags.

And that’s how Kate Spade, my all-time favorite brand, came about.