Celeb Reactions To Kate Spade's Death

World-renowned designer Kate Spade was found dead at her Manhattan apartment after an apparent suicide by hanging on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, dealing the fashion world a devastating blow. She was 55 years old.

Spade (born Katherine Noel Brosnahan) was "unresponsive" when she was discovered by her housekeeper. The celebrated fashionista addressed a note to her 13-year-old daughter before taking her own life using a scarf that she had tied to a doorknob, police confirmed. "The contents of that note as well as the physical state of the apartment and the comments of the witness lend to the credibility that it is an apparent suicide," NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said (via ABC News).

"We are all devastated," her family said in a statement. "We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly." Her sister, Reta Saffo, told CBS that she believed Spade had been suffering from mental health problems. This was later confirmed by her husband, Andy Spade, who revealed that she had been battling depression and anxiety for a number of years. In his statement, Spade said that he and his late wife had been living separately for 10 months but were still best friends. "We were not legally separated, and never even discussed divorce," he said (via BBC). "There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock."

Her grieving family haven't been alone in their tributes — celebrities the world over have also been sharing their shock and condolences.

Cate Blanchett

The news of Spade's passing was still raw when the press gathered for the premiere of Ocean's 8 the following day. The all-female take on the classic heist franchise has been getting high praise from the critics who have already seen it, with a more than respectable score of 78 percent on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing. The cast were all present to field questions about the movie, though naturally conversation turned towards the news of Spade's suicide.

"It's a terribly shocking and sad thing for her family," Cate Blanchett said when the Associated Press asked her about Spade. "I didn't know her, but when you hear that anyone has come to an end like that, it's incredibly painful for all that knew and loved her. I loved her work — the first handbag I ever bought was a Kate Spade handbag! What can you say, it's terribly, terribly tragic."

Sandra Bullock

When the Associated Press asked Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock about Spade's lasting legacy at the premiere of Ocean's 8, she looked visibly flustered and responded by telling them that the late designer's family were in her thoughts. "All I can think about is prayers for her daughter and husband," she said. "I'm not even at the place to think about legacy, I'm just thinking about her family right now."

Bullock had encountered some mental health issues of her own when she was filming sci-fi epic Gravity, suffering some serious bouts of depression because of the lonely nature of the shoot. She starred as Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer and astronaut who gets stranded alone in space. "I have never been hit with a depression like that," she told Variety, revealing that it got really difficult after co-star George Clooney finished his scenes. "I was amazed at how I was affected by him going."

Bryce Dallas Howard

Of all the celebrity reactions to Spade's death so far, Bryce Dallas Howard's has been the most in-depth. The Jurassic World star was the first-ever Kate Spade brand ambassador, and she talked about her experience of working with the fashion house at length when she took to Instagram to express her sadness. "What a devastating morning to hear that one of our most beloved American designers has passed," she said. "Seven years ago, I was asked to be the first celebrity 'face' of their brand. I still look back on that experience as a dream coming true."

While she never met Spade in person, the 37-year-old A-lister told her followers that her fashion had "influenced and inspired" her and went on to praise the late designer for empowering women. "The Kate Spade & Company Foundation provides approximately 1.2 million a year to nonprofit organizations who help provide women with access to tools and training to achieve economic independence," she said. "My love is with her family and friends at this very sad time."

David Spade

The late designer's brother-in-law David Spade has been sharing memories of her ever since he found out about her tragic suicide. Kate wed David's brother Andy in 1994, and the married pair always appeared to be very much in love, something that she once put down to that fact that they "took their vows seriously." The Joe Dirt star posted a picture of a beaming Kate at one of his book signings to Twitter, along with the caption: "I love this pic of her. So pretty. I don't think everyone knew how f***ing funny she was."

He also took to Instagram to share a fuzzy old picture of the pair at a family Christmas gathering with his followers. "We had so much fun that day," the actor and comedian said. "She was so sharp and quick on her feet. She could make me laugh so hard. I still can't believe it. It's a rough world out there people, try to hang on."

Olivia Munn

Like many of the celebrities who have come forward to pay tribute to Spade, star of The Newsroom Olivia Munn has confirmed that her first-ever purse was a Kate Spade. In a Twitter post, the actress recalled how owning a Kate Spade purse marked a milestone for her, making her feel like a grown-up for the first time. "My very first designer purse was a black, shoulder strap Kate Spade," Munn revealed. "I treasured it and was obsessed with keeping the little white Kate Spade label clean. It's funny how a purse can instantly make you feel like an adult. Rest in love."

Munn has been open about her own mental health struggles in the past, telling Marie Claire that she suffered from social anxiety disorder when the women's mag interviewed her in 2013. "[I'm] trying to overcome my social anxiety," she said. "It's manifested in trichotillomania, a disorder that gives me the urge to pull out my eyelashes."

Chelsea Clinton

Spade was the first designer to realize that there was a gap in the market for a middle range line of purses and accessories. When she first started out in the 1990s, the only choices women had when it came to purses were cheap, budget offerings or super pricey, high-end designer ones. She began operating in that grey area in the middle, giving women the option of what has been described as "whimsical, affordable luxury."

Her work became so popular that even those who could actually afford the higher end brands would instead opt for a Kate Spade, as Chelsea Clinton proved when she took to Twitter to mourn the loss of the designer. "My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college," the daughter of political powerhouse couple Bill and Hillary Clinton revealed. "I still have it. Holding Kate's family, friends and loved ones in my heart."

Bette Midler

Star of the stage and screen Bette Midler used Twitter to express her shock over the news of Spade's sad passing, honoring her for the joy she brought to the world with her work. "Kate Spade, whose lively, colorful, and yes, joyous designs has died," the two-time Oscar nominee said. "My deepest sympathy to her family and friends, and her many fans around the world, who loved the wonderful illusions she created. I am stunned."

Midler has been one of Twitter's more outspoken celebrity users for many years now. She often uses the platform to discuss sensitive issues, including mental health in the United States. She courted controversy back in 2013 when she blamed former President Ronald Reagan for "emptying the institutions" with an act of legislation that brought an end to involuntary commitment. She re-stoked this argument as recently as 2017 when she suggested that too many "mentally ill" people were out on the streets because of Reagan's policies.

Lena Dunham

Quintessential New Yorker Lena Dunham was quick to post her tribute to Spade after learning of her tragic passing, thanking her for representing the city she loves. "Kate Spade was more than a designer," the Girls creator tweeted. "She had a quirky visual language that captivated Bat Mitzvah girls and artists alike. She was also a staple of NYC who spread good will. My heart breaks for her family. Thank you, Kate, from one of the millions you made feel beautiful."

Dunham's lauding of Spade (who has been credited for creating a lifestyle brand by women, for women) is particularly controversial at a time when she's coming under fire from feminists. Vox staffer Constance Grady went after her hard when the actress defended a Girls writer accused of raping actress Aurora Perrineau, and IndieWire's Kate Erdland accused her of "using feminism to market, not to lead." Thor: Ragnarok star Tessa Thompson has also called Dunham out for her lack of involvement in the #MeToo movement.

Mindy Kaling

Another Ocean's 8 cast member who expressed her shock and sadness at the movie's premiere, Mindy Kaling told the Associated Press that she "loved Kate Spade dearly" when she was asked about the designer's passing. "Her clothes represented such a twinkly, fun, New York lifestyle, and it's just so sad," the star of The Mindy Project said. "Mental health issues are so important and they can affect anyone. Her death was a real example of that."

The actress had already addressed Spade's suicide prior to attending the premiere at the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, telling her Twitter followers that the news broke her heart. "I am heartbroken about the news of Kate Spade," she said. "I have worn her clothes many, many times. They were colorful, bold, cheerful, and encouraged women to find the twinkly person inside them. You couldn't walk into her boutiques and not smile. Rest In Peace, Kate."

Ruth Buzzi

Ruth Buzzi became famous long before Spade started building her fashion empire, though she's always known her way around a purse. The actress and comedienne is best known for playing the handbag-wielding Gladys Ormphby, a character who became a pop-culture icon in the late 1960s with her appearances on sketch show Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. Now in her 80s, Buzzi has settled down on a 600-acre ranch in northern Texas, though despite her age and anti-Hollywood lifestyle, she's still an active Twitter user.

"If wealth, great looks, success and fame meant happiness, beautiful billionaire fashion icon Kate Spade would still be alive," Buzzi tweeted after news of Spade's death reached her. "Let someone know if you're feeling depressed or overwhelmed; it gets better. Every life has challenges and tough spots, but it's all worth it. Love, RB." Buzzi's heartfelt words were retweeted by political commentator and New York Times best-selling author Tammy Bruce.