Kate Spade dead at 55

Legendary fashion designer Kate Spade has died in an apparent suicide.

Reports suggest the American entrepreneur hanged herself in her New York City apartment and was found by her housekeeper on Tuesday morning.

Emergency services were called, but Spade was pronounced dead on the scene, according to TMZ.com.

Born Katherine Brosnahan in Kansas City, Missouri, she began her fashion career after working at women's magazine Mademoiselle in the 1980s, and launched Kate Spade Handbags with Andy Spade, the brother of comedian David Spade, in 1993.

The couple, which wed in 1994, went on to expand the brand to include clothing, jewellery, and home goods, with Kate Spade New York now boasting retail stores around the world.

She sold off the remaining shares in her namesake company in 2006 and took a step back from her career to raise her daughter, Frances, who was born in February, 2005.

Kate, whose niece is The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel actress Rachel Brosnahan, made a fashion comeback in 2016 with a new brand called Frances Valentine, named after her only child.

During her career, she was honored by officials at the Council of Fashion Designers of America, who awarded her the America's New Fashion Talent in Accessories title in 1996, and in 1998 crowned her Best Accessory Designer of the Year.

She was also named one of the Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company magazine editors last year.

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