I have always been a BIG Kate Spade fan and shared the country’s grief when this gorgeous light dimmed. I was so saddened for Kate and for all of her family, especially her daughter. (Not to diminish the depth of dispair over this entire situation, it’s not where I am going to focus today. Having lost a parent as a child, I prefer to make this blog about design and not someone else’s private family grief.)
I first became aware of Kate and Andy Spade back in the days when the world welcomed this uber talented duo. I remember a time in my life when Kate created a particular purse I worshipped and desired. (It was green tweed and would have been perfect for life in Vermont). I was a divorced mother with 5 small children working multiple jobs to keep us afloat. There was no way it was in my budget. Two of my dearest girlfriends independantly appeared with that purse and carried it beautifully. I’m not one for jealousy and I am by far not the most fashionable gal on the block but I do remember feeling that little twinge of jealousy. And then I discovered Kate’s apartment in New York….over the years I have spent hours drooling over the Spades’ New York City apartment in which Kate and husband Andy managed to pull off the trifecta of perfection….classic timeless elegance, a home for their child, and a glorious mix of gorgeous neutrals with yummy pops of color. As someone who struggles with an obsessive love of neutrals and a teensy tiny passion for color in interiors, I always wonder….how do I pull this combination off? How do I balance my love of neutrals and find ways to add color without it coming out too cute or overly contrived? Like the Spades. That’s how it’s done.
Many of these photos come from one of my favorite websites www.theselby.com. Do go check it out. It’s magnificent. I first found them when Amanda Cutter Brooks posted about their visit to her. I have been a loyal follower ever since. I also found fabulous photos by www.thecoveteur.com, an amazing website I found through the wonderful Heather Clauson of www.Habituallychic.luxury. I highly recommend looking at all three websites for more information and photos of the Spades’ amazing home.
Let’s get started!
What always appealed to me about Kate’s style is she took what we saw our mothers’ love…women who were raised in the 40s and then raised their families in the 60s and 70s….. fabulous classic American style with early European influences… and she added a modern twist. Kate took all of this one more step farther, with a genius use of color.
As you may be aware Kate and Andy Spade began Frances Valentine after the sale of their first business. It was an opportunity for Kate to keep creating. The names Frances and Valentine are family names on Kate’s side. Kate and Andy’s daughter is also named Frances. There are many articles about the company and it’s structure and all of the wonderful people involved on the magical internet. I encourage you to read them. Kate’s dear friends, husband, and family are dedicated to keep this company going. They are all involved. They are not muddling through… they are moving forward with talent and enthusiasm and dedication. Kate’s niece Rachel Brosnahan has done an amazing ad campaign for Frances Valentine. The photos, the bags, the shoes, the colors, the attitude, all of it. They have nailed it. (Have you seen The Amazing Mrs. Maisel??? My sister Puddy would not stop talking about it and badgering me to watch it. She was right, it’s absolutely hilarious. Watch it! I have recently become a big Rachel Brosnahan fan.)
I have decided to really get behind this company. That’s what you do right? When a family powers through a personal tragedy we as a community make casseroles, drive carpools, send notes. When a family and their friends carry on with a gorgeous beautiful brand in honor of their beloved founder, we get on board, we open their emails, we look at their website, and we buy beautiful bags and shoes. There are so many beautiful products to choose from. I can’t wait to buy a summer bag. Maybe they will make a green tweed one for winter!!