Fashion Designer Kate Spade to Leave Company She Founded

Fashion designer Kate Spade and husband Andy Spade announced last week that they will step down from their positions as head designer and chief executive officer, respectively, of the company they founded in 1993, Kate Spade.  The Spades sold the company to Liz Claiborne, Inc., in November 2006 for $124 million and agreed to stay on during the transition period.  They will exit their posts this week, but will remain on the company’s board of directors.

Kate Brosnahan grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and attended the University of Arizona where she met Andy Spade, brother of comedian David Spade.  After graduating in 1986, Kate ended up in New York City where she landed a temp job at Mademoiselle magazine.  The “temp” job lasted for six years, during which time she began to see a need for classic, simple handbags.  Working nights and weekends, she launched her company in January 1993, combining her first name and boyfriend Andy’s last name, Kate Spade.  They later married.

The Kate Spade company evolved to include shoes, apparel, luggage, baby items, paper, and home accessories, and Kate picked up several “Designer of the Year” awards along the way.  Seeing a need for stylish men’s accessories as well, the duo launched the Jack Spade brand in 1997.

So what’s next for this creative team?  Travel and time with their two year-old-daughter.  They also plan to explore some “other areas of interest.”

So what does that mean?

It means that we probably haven’t heard the last from them…

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