If the old adage is true that you can know a lady by her handbag, then Kate Spade must have known women very, very well. She anticipated the purses we wanted before we even knew we wanted them.
Just look at the outpouring of grief on social media since the news of her death broke on Tuesday. Women across the country, from many different backgrounds, have shared photos and stories of their beloved Kate Spade accessories. Not only were her handbags timeless, sophisticated and fun, they signaled success. Almost every working woman of a certain age can proudly tell you the story of the first Kate Spade she bought.
I’m no exception. The first designer handbag I purchased was a Kate Spade, snagged at Century 21 for $200. It’s gray, shiny, sleek and the perfect work accessory—and still looks new almost four years later.
True, Kate Spade stepped down from her namesake company in 2007, but by then, her legacy was secure. Not only did she create a beloved brand that continues to enchant millions of women, she also paved the way for fellow female trailblazers like Tory Burch and, as mother to daughter Frances Beatrix, 13, proved that working moms can successfully—and stylishly—manage empires.
Here are some of the most touching tributes so far to the style icon: