AceShowbiz - Kate Spade's best friend and business partner is helping to keep the tragic fashion designer's legacy alive by launching a new bag named in her honour.
The fashion icon, who shot to fame in the mid-1990s with her eponymous line of handbags, had spent the last two years of her life focusing on her accessories label Frances Valentine, which she established with her husband Andy Spade, and close friend Elyce Arons in 2016, 10 years after selling off her namesake firm.
Following her death in June, Arons revealed the 55-year-old had left behind four seasons' worth of creations for the new brand, but its latest addition is one made as a tribute to its co-founder - simply named the Kate.
The $195 (£150) boxy nylon handbag, released on Thursday, September 06, is a nod to the classic design which launched Kate Spade New York back in 1993, when it was known as the Sam, and is available in red, green, navy, and black.
"Katy created the exact bag that she wanted to carry herself," Arons told Glamour. "She loved simple, clean lines, square shapes, and functionality. The bag felt modern and essential when Katy first designed it - and it still does. It's stylish, smart, and colourful, just like Katy."
"We wanted to honour Katy and celebrate her creative spirit from the beginning...," she continued. "Frances Valentine is where Kate Valentine Spade's designs and ideas live, and we wanted to recognise one of her iconic creations and show it alongside the new work of Kate Valentine Spade."
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Introducing The Kate Bag ❤️ Taking inspiration from the iconic first collection designed by Kate Valentine Spade. A tribute to Kate, this bag honors her impeccable sense of style and timeless aesthetic. Kate’s imprint on design is singular and is the driving force behind everything we create at Frances Valentine. Twenty percent of proceeds will go to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, in keeping with Kate’s support of children’s charities. Boys & Girls Clubs of America champions young people and sees the innate potential of all children to become productive, caring and responsible citizens. @bgca_clubs
A portion of proceeds from each sale will also benefit a charity close to Kate's heart - children's organisation the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Meanwhile, Arons has vowed to keep building on the success of their Frances Valentine company, named after Kate and Andy's only child, to continue the late designer's original mission - to make other women happy.
"We've had a lot of people write in and talk about how she had changed their lives and, 'Please keep going and keep her designs alive,' and that's what we're gonna do. We miss her every day. Her spirit is here," the brand chief explained to breakfast show Good Morning America, adding of the label's new autumn collection: "I think she would be thrilled, I think she would be really happy to continue to make other women happy..."
Arons admits she still has so many questions about why her best pal decided to end her life, but she believes Kate, who often kept her depression struggle to herself, is finally at peace.
Asked what she thinks Kate would say to her now, Arons smiled: "She'd say, 'I'm OK, don't worry about me'."