(Newser) – The fashion world was jolted Tuesday with the news that designer Kate Spade, who made her name with chic handbags, died in kate spade photo album an apparent suicide at the age of 55. Spade was found hanged in the bedroom of her Park Avenue apartment in New York City by housekeeping staff at about 10:20am, the AP reports. She used a scarf, reports. Her husband and business partner, Andy Spade, was reportedly home at the time, but their 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade, was at school. Police officials tell the AP that Spade left a note telling her daughter that it wasn't her fault. Related coverage:

  • The start: reports that Spade was born Katherine Brosnahan in Kansas City in 1962. She went on to meet husband and future business partner Andy Spade (the brother of actor David Spade) at Arizona State University, notes. After working at Mademoiselle magazine in the 1980s, she launched Kate Spade handbags with Andy Spade in 1993, and they married in 1994 as the company was on its way to becoming a global sensation.
  • 6 designs: Spade began with six basic shapes of bags. "I grew up in the Midwest, where you have to have [a fashion item] because you like it, not because you're supposed to have it," Spade told the AP in 2004. The company eventually expanded to shoes, luggage, stationery, and other accessories. has a 2002 interview in which Spade talks about her early years. Her mom was her fashion role model.

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