It's been a little over a week since news broke of Kate Spade's death by suicide. The 55-year-old designer was found dead in her apartment in New York City on June 5.
Since then, fans have been paying tribute to her work by posting messages on social media and sharing memories of the first time they bought a Kate Spade handbag — a brand that she hadn't been associated with for over a decade. Kate and Andy Spade sold their final stake in the Kate Spade brand to Neiman Marcus in 2006, and it subsequently changed hands twice. It's currently owned by Tapestry, the parent company of Coach.
Other fans are now wondering what will happen to her newer brand, Frances Valentine, which she founded in 2015 with her husband, Andy, and business partners Elyce Arons and Paola Venturi.
Kate Spade through the years
Kate Spade through the years
Kate Spade during The 2001 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards - Arrivals at The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Kate Spade during The Fresh Air Fund Salutes American Heroes at Tavern on the Green in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Designer Kate Spade arriving at the 2002 Ace Awards presented by The Accessories Council at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. November 5, 2002. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect.
Kate Spade during The Concert for New York City - After Party at Hudson Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Kate Spade during 13th Annual Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year Awards - Arrivals at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Kate Spade with husband and brother-in-law David Spade at the 20th Annual American Fashion Awards at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City. 06/14/2001. Photo: Evan Agostini/ImageDirect
Kate Spade during 17th Annual CFDA Awards at JP Morgan Atrium in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Designer Kate Spade is photographed at her offices. (Photo by David Howells/Corbis via Getty Images)
Kate Spade and Andy Spade during Costume Institute Benefit Dance: 'Party of the Year' - Arrivals at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Kate Spade during 14th Annual GLAMOUR Women of the Year Awards - Red Carpet at American Museum of Natural History in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Kate Spade (Photo by Carley Margolis/FilmMagic)
Kate Spade during CFDA 7th on Sale Kick-Off - Red Carpet and Inside at Sky Light Studios in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage for LaForce and Stevens)
NEW YORK - JUNE 7: Designer Kate Spade attends the '2004 CFDA Fashion Awards' at the New York Public Library June 7, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Kate Spade, Andy Spade and Ruth Lande Shuman, founder/president of Publicolor (Photo by Carley Margolis/FilmMagic)
David Spade and Kate Spade during Photographer's Gallery Presents Slim Aarons Curated by Kate Spade at Fred Segal Cafe in West Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - APRIL 30: Kate Spade and Andy Spade attend PARSONS The NEW SCHOOL FOR DESIGN 59TH ANNUAL BENEFIT and FASHION SHOW Honoring SUSAN D. KRONICK, Vice Chairman, Federated Department Stores, Inc. at Grand Hyatt on April 30, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by JIMI CELESTE/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: Kate Spade attends the 2015 Basser Center For BRCA Benefit at Cipriani Wall Street on November 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: Kate Spade speaks on stage at Build Series Presents Kate Spade and Andy Spade Discussing Their Latest Project Frances Valentine at Build Studio on April 28, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/WireImage)
Arons, a close friend of Spade's who worked as head of operations at Spade's namesake handbag brand and then became a managing partner at Frances Valentine, told Business Insider that the company is determined to honor Spade's legacy.
"We don't know what the future holds for us, but we are determined to continue to make her beautiful work live on through Frances Valentine. We will be stronger for her, more connected to each other through her," Arons wrote in an email to Business Insider.
According to Arons, Spade left four seasons of completed and designed work behind, along with an "abundant library of her concepts."
The original design team from the early days at the Kate Spade brand is also now working for Frances Valentine, Arons said, along with Kate's husband, Andy, who starting working with his wife at Kate Spade full-time in 1996.
For now, the close-knit Frances Valentine is focused on processing the grief of what has happened and contacting the many customers who have been in touch to offer their sympathy.
"We have been inundated with calls and emails about product, but also about people's emotional connection to Kate. She was authentic and I think people sensed that and really felt close to her," Arons said.
Celebrities who died in 2018
Celebrities who died in 2018
Aretha Franklin died at the age of 76 on August 16 following a long battle with cancer. Read more here.
(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Renowned celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain died of an apparent suicide on June 8. Read more here.
"Superman" actress Margot Kidder died at the age of 69 in May. Read more here.
(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
Burt Reynolds died at the age of 82 on September 6 after going into cardiac arrest. Read more here.
(Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
Comic book legend Stan Lee died at the age of 95 in early November. Read more here.