Fashion designer Kate Spade, 55, found dead

Kate Spade

Fashion designer Kate Spade has been found dead in her appartment in New York. She was aged 55.

Spade (real name Katherine Brosnahan), who co-founded the brand which bore her name in 1993 along with husband Andy, was discovered in her Park Avenue home at 10.26am New York time today by her housekeeper.

Her death is being treated as suicide and it has been reported that the designer, who left her brand in 2007, had hung herself. A note had been left at the scene but police have not commented on its contents.

Following its launch the Kate Spade brand took off quickly and became known for its bright, bold, somewhat retro designs. The business was sold to Neiman Marcus in 1999 and then to Liz Claiborne in 2006, a year after which the Spades left the brand.

Last July the business was acquired by Tapestry (which also owns Coach and Stuart Weitzman) for $2.4bn.