With additional reporting by Alicia Vrajlal
A stream of Aussie stars have paid homage to Kate Spade after the news of her death sent ripples through the fashion world.
Model Erin Holland led the tributes to the 55-year-old, who was found dead by suicide in her Manhattan apartment on Wednesday, sending her family her “thoughts and prayers at this difficult time”.
“I think we’ve all had a Kate Spade item at some point,” Erin told Be exclusively at a Tag Heuer event in Sydney on Wednesday. “Even though she wasn’t actually affiliated with the brand for the last decade, the name itself is synonymous with fashion.”
Toni May fashion accessory designer and Bachelor star Laura Byrne also praised the designer as the one who “changed the way accessories are designed”.
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“She really paved the path for the rest of the industry and it’s just incredibly sad,” she told Be. “I can’t even imagine how her family are feeling right now.”
Like many others all over the world, model Nikki Phillips called the designer an “icon”.
“Hearing all of the stories on the news about giving her bags away to help women start with their jobs,” she said.
“She was a true inspiration and it’s so awful to lose such an icon like that in the industry.”
Also on the red carpet last night was model and TV personality, Kate Peck.
“I loved her bags,” Kate said. “I remember listening to her on the podcast, ‘How I Built This’. She [Kate Spade] was telling this incredible story about how she started her empire with her husband and that hardship that they went through.”
“She was a proper rag to riches story,” Kate said. “It’s a wild world out there and we need to be appreciative of what we’ve got.”
Kate Spade was found by her housekeeper at her home on Park Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side on Tuesday morning, the New York Daily News reported, citing unnamed police officials.
The designer is famed for building a fashion empire on the popularity of her signature handbags before selling the brand.
Kate is survived by daughter Frances and her husband, Andy Spade, who is actor David Spade’s brother.
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