I'm really not one to care much for designer brands, but the recent death of Kate Spade has me thinking a lot about how her brand has inadvertently affected my own life. My mom loves purses and designer things. A majority of my childhood was spent at Macy's. I already have every section of the store ingrained in my mind, and I can tell you the best times to use the bathrooms when they're not so busy. In other words, my mom loves shopping, and if I wasn't waiting for her to try on shoes or going through the sale racks, I'd be exploring the whole department store -- within 5 feet of eye distance from her.
Throughout every shopping mall, department store, boutique, and outlet we'd go to, there was always something really special about Kate Spade. Although the brand was designer, her stores never felt like they had a pretentious or pompous vibe to it. There was just something girly and independent to her vibe. Her style was simple, yet striking; bold, yet elegant. As a kid, I remember going to the outlets if my mom wanted to buy something from Kate Spade; it was more affordable that way.
Even then, getting something from Kate Spade was never a casual event. It was reserved for special days, like birthdays or graduations... or if you were lucky, surprise sales.
I only own one Kate Spade item. It's a small pink wallet with a metal ring attached to it for my keys. I wanted something small because I'm not usually one to lug large purses around on the daily. A small wallet seemed like the perfect purchase because it was something that would always be in my hand and would always have my keys attached to it.
I liked the durability of the product, how it couldn't be bent or torn so easily. I still remember being careful with it, worried that I might spill something on it, given how clumsy I am.
I didn't grow up wearing or owning nice things. I had to wear a uniform for elementary school and I remember having only a handful of white shirts and blue pants to repeatedly wear until I grew out of them. I didn't really grow much, so I had the same clothes for quite some time lol.
Getting something from Kate Spade was a big deal in my family. Although I did not pay as much attention to designers or their brands, Kate Spade made a mark on the women in my life. Owning or buying her products to keep for yourself or to gift to another person was sort of symbolic of independent womanhood, of displaying that you have enough of your own money to be able to afford a designer Kate Spade handbag.
To be able to carry that token of designer regalia around and show that you bought it yourself displayed female elegance and the freedom to express oneself creatively through fashion. Kate Spade's image embodied this sense of female empowerment, quirkiness, and color. Her simple, yet bold designs made you look ready to dominate the day while still looking cute doing it. It's wild how someone's art can impact you in ways you wouldn't have thought. Her creative mind and presence in this world have impacted so many.
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