Stars mourn Kate Spade's death on social media

Designer Kate Spade reportedly found dead from apparent suicide

She said that Spade's brand is a go-to reward for success, and the designer's look became synonymous with strong femininity.

Kate Spade and her husband, Andy, attend The Fresh Air Fund's "Salute to American Heroes", in New York City in 2003.

Kate Spade arrives at the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards in New York on June 2, 2003, at the New York Public Library.

Spade, who was an accessories editor at Mademoiselle magazine, launched her company with husband Andy in their apartment in 1993. In 1999 she and her partners sold 56% of the business to Neiman Marcus for $34 million, before offloading the remainder in 2006 for $59 million. She changed her name to Katherine Noel Frances Valentine Brosnahan Spade, she said in an NPR interview this year.

Mallis, the former CFDA director, noted that the stunning news of Spade's death came just the morning after virtually the entire NY fashion industry had gathered at the Brooklyn Museum for the glitzy annual CFDA awards.

Soledad O'Brien said Spade's brand was empowering for young women.

"She was also a staple of NYC who spread good will", she said.

Some of those paying tribute to Spade recalled their first experience with the brand, once perceived to be a status-symbol.

While many celebrity friends and fans shared their heartfelt condolences, designer Kenneth Cole was slammed for his tweet about Kate Spade just hours after her death.

Lena Dunham: "Kate Spade was more than a designer".

The 55-year-old was found by housekeeping at about 10:20 a.m. A few years after joining the company, she moved in with her future husband, Andy Spade.

On social media, prominent figures mourned Spade's passing.

"We want to honour her life and her major contribution to the fashion business and express our most honest condolences to the family".

The family says they are devastated by her death.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

"My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college", Clinton tweeted.

She said: "The best thing about being a business owner is that you get to run your own schedule. We wore a lot of her designs on Riverdale and her artistic vision will be greatly missed".

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