RIP Kate Spade

Posted Thursday, Jun. 07, 2018

Why you can’t “out earn” or “out succeed” depression

For those of us who embrace the lifestyle of Kate Spade, the happy, gracious, feminine, and kind fashion brand, Tuesday’s news of her death was a shock. Indeed, for anyone who had even stepped inside one of the designer’s preppy and optimistic stores, Tuesday’s news of her death would have been a shock.

On paper, Kate Spade was her brand: Generous and joyful. 

Her death by suicide is a sobering reminder of how insidious depression is. Spade seemed to have it all and be it all. She was wealthy, beautiful, successful, and respected. But even those things are no match for a mental disorder that can alter one’s very reality. 

We aren’t saying anything new here, nothing that hasn’t been said before. But maybe it needs to be said more often. Mental health is everything. The happiest and best people take their lives when mental illness isn’t addressed—or they feel as if they can’t address it.  

If the wealthiest and most glamorous of us can’t or don’t access mental health help, there’s little reason to be optimistic for any of the rest of us. We must all try to keep mental health awareness front of mind—not only when terrible things happen. 

We know the power of sunshine: of happiness and light.

Anyone who has purchased a Kate Spade handbag or a new pair of shoes in the gorgeous bold boxes with the polka dot tissue paper and sweetly inspirational messaging knows the power and possibility that light and love have. So too should we drag depression, mental health, and the stigma that surrounds getting help out of the shadows, wrapped in whatever kind of packaging necessary to make it easiest for people to embrace.

Sunshine heals, as Spade herself showed so many women. Let’s not let the love and light of Kate Spade’s brand fade with the beautiful troubled soul behind it.