Designer Kate Spade, one of the biggest names in American fashion, was found dead Tuesday in New York after committing suicide, police said. She was 55.
Celebrity website TMZ said the designer — especially known for her sleek handbags — hanged herself in her Park Avenue apartment.
A police spokeswoman confirmed Spade committed suicide but told AFP the exact circumstances of her death were not yet clear.
Spade, who first worked as a journalist, including a stint at Mademoiselle magazine, launched her eponymous fashion label in 1993 with her husband Andy. Her cheerful use of bright colors and prints proved a hit with career women.
She had sold the last of her shares in Kate Spade New York more than 10 years ago, and was no longer directly associated with the management of the company bearing her name.
In the past few years, Spade — born Katherine Brosnahan — had launched a new accessories label, Frances Valentine.