Kate Spade’s widower shares mental-health missive on designer’s 57th birthday

Andy Spade and designer Kate Spade
Kate and Andy Spade attend the AOL Build Series on April 28, 2017, in New York City.
(Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

Late fashion designer Kate Spade was honored Tuesday in a holiday greeting by her widower, Andy Spade, on what would have been her 57th birthday.

Andy Spade posted the Christmas Eve tribute accompanied by an image of their young daughter, Frances Bea, with the caveat that Frances probably wouldn’t like being featured in such a way. But, he hoped, the gravity of his message would one day help her understand why he did it.

“On the date of Katherine Noel Brosnahan Spades birthdate I hope that we can all be kind to one another and look for signs of private problems,” he wrote. “Some of us are too embarrassed or prideful to admit we have flaws. Please don’t hide from them. There is no shame in having flaws. I have many. As do some of my best friends, mentors and idols. We should take pride in admitting our humanity. Perfection isn’t the goal — honesty is.”


His inspirational words come about a year and a half after the 55-year-old designer was found dead at her Manhattan home. Kate Spade’s death was ruled a suicide shortly thereafter and renewed conversations about mental-health awareness. The death also came just days before celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain also died by suicide.

The Spades, who launched her bright and bold namesake brand together in the 1990s, were married for about 24 years. He’s the brother of actor David Spade, and Kate Spade’s niece is “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” actress Rachel Brosnahan. The Spades had been separated and were moving toward divorce when the designer died in 2018, but the two reportedly had remained close.

“Please seek help if you are feeling helpless or lost,” Andy Spade wrote. “Ask friends and relatives if they are okay. This is truly important. Sometimes they won’t tell you how they are feeling but nudge them to find out. Happy holidays and best wishes to all.”