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Kate Spade’s legacy: a 2.4 billion dollars fashion empire

By Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez


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Business |ANALYSIS

Late fashion designer Kate Spade leaves a billion dollar namesake fashion business as her testament to the affordable luxury fashion world.

Over the course of 20 years, Kate Brosnahan, better known as Kate Spade, transformed her passion for quirky, fun, handbags into a buoyant fashion label that eventually turned into an international business valued at 2.4 billion dollars, according to ‘Forbes’.

Although the first Kate Spade Collection launched in the early ’90s, it took the company a few years to take off. After securing Barney’s New York and Fred Segal as clients, big department stores chains such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus started carrying the Kate Spade handbag line in their stores across the U.S.

Kate Spade: from a family-run business to a billionaire international fashion emporium

At the end of the decade, Kate Spade and her husband Andy and business partner sold 56 percent of the company to Neiman Marcus for over 30 million dollars. The new millennium saw the fashion brand expanding its range to include shoes, clothing, and other accessories. It was back then when the fashion designer entered male accessories market with the launch of sister brand Jack Spade, focused on bags for men.

After selling their remaining shares in the company to Neiman’s Marcus, the Spades left the business in 2007. The brand struggled to grow, changing hands in 2006, when the upscale department stores operator sold the brand to Liz Claiborne Inc. for 124 million dollars.

In a move that shacked the fashion industry from the ground up, Coach bought Kate Spade in a 2.4 billion dollars cash deal.

Kate Spade runs 140 retail shops in the U.S. alone, with a growing international footprint.

Julia Curry, a spokeswoman for Kate Spade said that "Kate will be dearly missed" and "our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time."

Photo: Kate Spade passes away, Kate Spade Official Web

Kate Spade