Jenna Bush Hager

Designer Kate Spade remembered as vibrant and colorful, like her creations

Designer Kate Spade remembered as vibrant and colorful, like her creations

Bright. Vibrant. Colorful. And, most essentially, fun.

The same words used so often to describe Kate Spade's enormously popular handbags — "It" bags that were both aspirational and affordable — were an apt description of the woman herself, say many in the fashion world. And that only contributed to the sense of shock and loss in the industry upon hearing the news Tuesday that Spade had apparently taken her own life at 55.

"She was always just as happy and delightful as her collection was," said Fern Mallis, industry consultant and former director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America during Spade's rise to success in the 1990s. "She was...

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