Kate Spade’s Net Worth at the Time of Her Death

Designer handbag fans knew Kate Spade for her chic, colorful, and utilitarian styles. Sadly, she died by apparent suicide in 2018. In May 2022, the beauty salon company Ulta Beauty made a serious blunder in an email regarding Spade, reminding design lovers of her death. So, what was Kate Spade’s net worth when she died? Here’s everything to know.

Ulta’s email about Kate Spade is causing fans to remember her death

Designer Kate Spade smiling with her arms folded across her chest. Kate Spade's net worth is $200 million.
Designer Kate Spade | David Howells/Corbis via Getty Images

Kate Spade died by apparent suicide in 2018. TMZ reports the housekeeper found the designer, according to the NYPD Chief of Detectives. Spade was 55 years old and had designer shops in New York City since 1996.

In May 2022, Ulta Beauty made a major blunder in an email promoting Kate Spade New York fragrance. “Ulta Beauty recently sent an email featuring Kate Spade New York fragrance with an insensitive subject line, and for this, we sincerely apologize,” a representative for Ulta told TMZ. “Mental health is a very serious, important issue in this country, and not something we would ever take lightly. We apologize to the Spade family, our Kate Spade New York brand partners and to our guests. Thank you for understanding as we strive to do better.”

Kate Spade’s net worth at the time of her death

Kate Spade, Andy Spade, and David Spade smiling together at an event
Kate Spade, Andy Spade, and David Spade | Evan Agostini/ImageDirect

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Kate Spade’s net worth at the time of her death was $200 million.

So, how did she attain the fortune? According to Town & Country, Spade felt uninspired by the handbag market in 1991, and her then-boyfriend, Andy Spade, encouraged her to create her own bags. By 1993, the couple formed Kate Spade & Co. with just $35,000. Spade got to work creating her signature bags, many of which were inspired by the bags her mother owned.

While Spade will forever be known for her incredible handbags, she further developed her brand to include homewares, shoes, paper goods, and accessories.

Town & Country notes Spade’s company’s revenue was up to $1.5 million by 1995. By 1996, the couple opened Kate Spade New York, and they reported a revenue of $6 million. Two years later, Spade also opened stores in Japan and Los Angeles for even bigger sales. Then, in 1999, Neiman Marcus purchased 56% of Kate Spade New York for a reported $33.6 million.

Who owns the Kate Spade brand now?

So, who owns the Kate Spade brand in 2022? According to Business Insider, Spade sold the rest of the company to Neiman Marcus in 2006. Neiman Marcus then sold Kate Spade New York to Liz Claiborne for about $124 million. In 2007, Kate and Andy Spade left the company as designer and chief executive officer. Today, the Kate Spade brand is now owned by Tapestry. Tapesty owns Coach and also purchased Liz Claiborne.

In 2016, Kate Spade reemerged as Kate Valentine Spade. According to People, she and Andy Spade launched their accessory line, Frances Valentine, that year, and she wanted to differentiate herself from her old brand. When it came to running her previous handbag business, she told People she didn’t miss it.

“I needed a break, and I really wanted to raise my daughter,” she said. “People asked me, ‘Don’t you miss it?’ I really didn’t. I mean, I loved what I was doing, but I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I might.”

How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to speak with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.

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