I still remember my first Kate Spade item: a red wristlet, that caught my eye for months online. I begged and begged my mom to let me buy it, as an 8th grader with no means of earning my own money, and was beyond ecstatic when the months of pleading became incessant and she finally gave in. The wristlet became the token item in my closet soon after, and I carried it everywhere: in my backpack at school, to football games, and even the grocery store for a quick trip. The timeless design was something that I was endlessly proud of, and as a result loved the life out of that tiny little red wristlet, until I "graduated" to different bags and different designers.

My experience with Kate Spade is one of many: the transition to higher fashion marked by the iconic spade symbol that denoted Kate Spade's beloved brand. The quirky and colorful (yet timeless) styles of Kate Spade appealed to younger audiences, however, the price point and luxury feel of the brand name gave it a curious niche in the fashion market. With Kate Spade becoming a ubiquitous name in everyday fashion, it began to be seen in both younger and older age groups and became a company that transcended categories as it offered items at many different styles and price points.

Personally, Kate Spade came at a time where I was just beginning to get into fashion and provided a springboard for me to explore other brands and other types of styles. This story is not unique to me, but for millions of other people in the United States. Thus, the recent death and suicide of Kate Spade became something that affected the entire fashion industry.

Thank you, Kate Spade.

Thank you for creating a product that positively affected women's lives everywhere, not just in the US but internationally. Thank you for creating a persona and brand that anyone who wore your brand could experience, and thank you for empowering women through fashion and personal expression.

Kate Spade, as the sole creator of her brand name and persona that evolved into a multi-million dollar company, was a business and personal inspiration to many around the world beyond just her product. Her work ethic and drive led her to create a brand that became timeless, and the success of her company is due to her hard work and dedication.

Her tenacity, personality, and the bright life she led are just more reasons to celebrate, and remember, the name of Kate Spade.