Kate Spade’s Death ‘Not Unexpected,’ Sister Says

Fashion designer Kate Spade, found dead Tuesday after apparently taking her own life, had struggled with mental illness for the past several years, her sister told The Kansas City Star. Reta Saffo, Spade’s older sister, said she struggled to persuade the fashion legend to get help, at one point even getting her “all set to go” to an inpatient treatment center. But “in the end, the ‘image’ of her brand (happy-go-lucky Kate Spade) was more important for her to keep up. She was definitely worried about what people would say if they found out,” Saffo was quoted as saying in an email. Spade’s apparent suicide, Saffo said, was “not unexpected.” Saffo said she believes Spade had a “plan” to end her life as far back as 2014. “One of the last things she said to me was, ‘Reta, I know you hate funerals and don’t attend them, but for me would you PLEASE come to MINE, at least. Please!’” she said. Police sources cited by the New York Daily News say Spade left behind a note telling her 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix, not to blame herself.