Its taken me a second to process the news of Kate Spade’s death. She was the accessories editor at Mademoiselle before I worked there but I remember people talking, as she had by then become such a success, and we were all proud that she had once been one of us. It also gave us hope that we could be one of her. But really, there was only one of her. She was always a little otherworldly to me. Her style, such a mix of color and print, 50s circle skirts, 60s updos, Hollywood Regency, Southern Belle and good old MidWestern grace. She never seemed to be of the modern age but understood it and it’s women profoundly. She created whimsy and breathed life into the very serious business of fashion. She listened to her own voice, believed in the beat of her own drum and started her own kind of revolution. Where there was a white space, she painted a canvas of industry. She gave that gift to us: her community, her fans, her friends. Her brand was a particularly American Style and that made it even more joyous, more relatable. Getting one’s first Kate Spade bag was a BIG DEAL. It symbolized something, maybe because of Carrie, but maybe even without her: it was a sign of a woman’s independence. And a woman’s right to make style something playful. Something truly FUN. It’s said that there is a very close neural link between brilliance and mental illness and don’t doubt that for a second. For me, the ones with the most talent often bear some of the hardest difficulties and sometimes for far longer than the rest of us would have the strength. You will be missed, Kate. But you won’t be forgotten. #RIP If you need to talk call 1-800-273-TALK or TEXT 741741 if you are in danger or immediate crisis. You may FEEL alone, but you aren’t just your feelings. You aren’t even just your thoughts. Talking to someone may help and that’s always a shot worth taking. #ripkatespade

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