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Entertainment  

Celeb Kate Spade tributes

Singer Josh Groban and actor Zach Braff have urged fans battling depression to seek help following the tragic death of fashion designer Kate Spade.

The American handbag icon, who launched her namesake brand with her husband, Andy Spade, in 1993, was found dead at her New York City apartment on Tuesday.

Law enforcement sources tell The Associated Press the 55-year-old appeared to have hanged herself with a scarf.

As the news emerged online and fans started to post tributes on social media, Groban and Braff were among those who also decided to remind anyone battling mental health issues that there is a support network available.

"Depression does not discriminate and comes without warning," Josh tweeted. "RIP Kate Spade. Love to her family."

"National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255," he added, the same number Scrubs star Braff posted as he wrote, "Don't give up. People love you."

"Depression hits anyone any time it doesn't care how successful U r, how rich U r, how outwardly happy U may seem to b (sic)," warned songwriter Diane Warren. "RIP Kate Spade. What sad news."

There were also tributes from former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton, current First Daughter Ivanka Trump, and veteran entertainer Bette Midler, who tweeted, "#KateSpade, whose lively, colorful, and yes, joyous designs has died. 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."

Meanwhile, Spade's colleagues in the fashion industry shared their grief online too.

Quoting a line used on many of Spade's accessories, Kenneth Cole wrote, "'I believed that I could, so I did.' She alone didn't change the handbag world but she was an inspiring accessory."

Diane Von Furstenberg, who serves as president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), of which Spade was a two-time honoree and member, released a joint statement with organization CEO Steven Kolb, insisting they are "devastated" by the tragedy.

"She was a great talent who had an immeasurable impact on American fashion and the way the world viewed American accessories," the note continued. "We want to honor her life and her major contribution to the fashion business and express our most sincere condolences to the family."

Bosses at Kate Spade New York, which the designer quit in 2007, a year after selling off her remaining shares, also acknowledged the co-founder's loss in a statement, explaining she will be "dearly missed".

"Our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time," it concluded.

Officials at Neiman Marcus Group, then known as Liz Claiborne Inc., acquired the brand in 2006 for $125 million, and last year, it was purchased by chiefs at Coach, aka Tapestry, for $2.4 billion.



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