While women around the world are reminiscing over their first Kate Spade bag after the famed American designer was found dead in her Manhattan apartment of an apparent suicide, her relatives are still dealing with the tragic loss of the woman behind the label.
“We are all devastated by today’s tragedy,” her family said in a statement to the New York Daily News. “We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly. We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.”
Spade’s sister Eve Brosnahan also spoke with the Daily News on Tuesday. “It’s very difficult,” Brosnahan said, while crying—and politely declining to give a full interview. “I can’t right now. I just can’t.”
According to The Associated Press, Spade's body was found by a housekeeper shortly after 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning. She had left a note that police officials said pointed to “a tragic suicide" (though her death is still under investigation). Her husband was reportedly at the Park Avenue apartment at the time.
Spade and Andy launched Kate Spade Handbags in 1993, but sold their stake in the brand to Neiman Marcus in 2006—though as of 2018, it's owned by Coach Inc. Spade was more recently the designer of the Frances Valentine label.
Julia Curry, a spokeswoman for the original company, told the AP that “Kate will be dearly missed” and “our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time.” The brand also released a statement on social media.
This post has been amended to correct a reference to Spade's family tree.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.