"It was not unexpected" Kate Spade's sister Reta Saffo reveals harrowing conversation she had with the designer before her death
After numerous attempts to help Spade, Saffo had to resort to finally letting go before she revealed the final conversation that they had.
The heartbroken and distraught sister of Kate Spade, Reta Saffo opened up about the 55-year-old's battle with mental health issues and also the harrowing conversation they had before her death. The renowned designer built herself an empire on the popularity of her signature handbags before selling the brand off.
Spade was found dead in her NYC apartment in an apparent suicide. Many people were shocked at her tragic death and despite the number of condolences and grief pouring in, her sister, Saffo shared it was "not unexpected" to her. Saffo spoke to the Kansas City Star and shared that family members have all tried to help Kate deal with her depression in the past but in the end, she was just not able to deal with the anguish.
"I will say this was not unexpected by me. I’d flown out to Napa and NYC several times in the past 3-4 years to help her to get the treatment she needed. I’d come so very close to getting her to go in for treatment… we’d get so close to packing her bags… she was definitely worried about what people would say if they found out," Reta continued.
After numerous attempts to help Spade, Saffo had to resort to "finally letting go" before she revealed the final conversation that they had. "One of the last things she said to me was, ‘Reta, I know you hate funerals and don’t attend them, but for me would you please come to mine, at least. Please!' I know she perhaps had a plan, but she insisted she did not," she added.
As reported by US Weekly, multiple sources shared that the designer was reportedly experiencing marital problems before her suicide and was possibly separated from husband Andy Spade. According to another source, the pair were working together on Frances Valentine (the fashion line dedicated to their daughter), but that there were difficulties with the brand’s creative direction and finances.
In response to her death, her fans began to post pictures of their favorite handbags on social media in addition to sharing their remorse and grief. Former US president Bill Clinton's daughter, Chelsea Clinton was amongst the celebrities who were mourning Spade. "My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college," she wrote on Twitter. "I still have it."
Vogue-editor-in-chief Anna Wintour has released a statement following Spade's death. "Kate Spade had an enviable gift for understanding exactly what women the world over wanted to carry. She launched her label at a time when everyone thought that the definition of a handbag was strictly European, all decades-old serious status and wealth. Then along came this thoroughly American young woman who changed everything," Anna shared.
"There was a moment when you couldn't walk a block in New York without seeing one of her bags, which were just like her; colorful and unpretentious. Kate designed with great charm and humor and built a global empire that reflected exactly who she was and how she lived. Long before we talked about authenticity, she defined it," she continued.