A housekeeper discovered Spade's body hanging in her bedroom, police said.
He said she "sounded happy" the night before and her death was a complete shock. She is survived by her husband, Andy Spade, and 13-yr old daughter, Frances Beatrix.
Following the news, handbag aficionados took to Twitter to pay homage to the accessory queen's legacy and share fond memories of their first Kate Spade bags.
Bags at the Kate Spade store in Hong Kong, 2016. 'My deepest sympathy to her family and friends, and her many fans around the world, who loved the wonderful illusions she created.
Born Katherine Noel Brosnahan in Kansas City, Missouri, Spade was a former accessories editor at the now-closed Mademoiselle magazine before she and Andy Spade launched their namesake design company, Kate Spade New York, in 1993.
"Although Kate has not been affiliated with the brand for more than a decade, she and her husband and creative partner, Andy, were the founders of our beloved brand", the statement said.
The comedian David Spade has paid tribute to his sister-in-law Kate Spade, who died Tuesday morning in what authorities believe was suicide.
And a Kate Spade bag was an adornment that was, crucially, affordable, unlike other iterations of "It" bags whose status seemed to hinge on the price tag. One obvious measure of her influence was the number of counterfeit Kate Spade bags one could find on the streets, Arrington said.
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David Spade with his sister-in-law Kate Spade in Los Angeles in 2006. "Kate will be dearly missed".
Katherine Noel Brosnahan was born December 24, 1962, in Kansas City, Missouri. People started sharing their first Kate Spade handbag moments.
Ms. Spade expanded her design offerings to sunglasses, shoes, luggage and clothing and even designed flight attendants outfits. "Sending love to her family".
Coach, now known as Tapestry, bought the Kate Spade brand previous year for $2.4 billion.
File - In this photo, designer Kate Spade poses with handbags and shoes from her next collection in NY on May 13, 2004. 'I always admired that she was self-made and was so sad to hear the news of her passing.
Her has said in a statement that they were "devastated" by her death and that they would "miss her terribly".
Mallis, the former CFDA director, noted that the stunning news of Spade's death came just the morning after virtually the entire NY fashion industry had gathered at the Brooklyn Museum for the glitzy annual CFDA awards.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. "You see someone who kind of made a career off of making people smile", she said.
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