Arizona fashion industry remembers ASU grad Kate Spade

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The death of Kate Spade is being felt hard by those in the Arizona fashion industry. (Source: AP/3TV/CBS 5) The death of Kate Spade is being felt hard by those in the Arizona fashion industry. (Source: AP/3TV/CBS 5)
As an ASU journalism student back in the '80s, Spade, then Kate Brosnahan, was hired by Carter's Men's Clothing at 44th Street and Camelback. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) As an ASU journalism student back in the '80s, Spade, then Kate Brosnahan, was hired by Carter's Men's Clothing at 44th Street and Camelback. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
"I'm sitting here thinking about Kate Spade and just what a tragedy, and how mental health is really something that should be taken for granted," said Jessica Leila Adnani. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) "I'm sitting here thinking about Kate Spade and just what a tragedy, and how mental health is really something that should be taken for granted," said Jessica Leila Adnani. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
At the Scottsdale Fashion Square location, a single vase of flowers sits in the front window, sent over from a neighboring salon with a note that reads "We'll miss you, Kate Spade." (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) At the Scottsdale Fashion Square location, a single vase of flowers sits in the front window, sent over from a neighboring salon with a note that reads "We'll miss you, Kate Spade." (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona State University alumna and iconic fashion designer Kate Spade has died. New York police say she hanged herself in her apartment.

[READ MORE: Kate Spade found dead in New York in apparent suicide]

It's a loss being felt hard by those in the Arizona fashion industry.

While the famous designer was not born here in the Valley, she did get her start in the fashion world here, and her influence still lives on.

As an ASU journalism student back in the '80s, Spade, then Kate Brosnahan, was hired by Carter's Men's Clothing at 44th Street and Camelback. 

It was there she met her future husband, Andrew Spade. 

The duo eventually moved to New York to launch their now-famous "Kate Spade" handbag line.

But some of her legacy stayed right here in the Valley with the future generation of designers like Jessica Leila Adnani.

"Kate Spade was such a pioneer in the handbag world. She created something that wasn't on the market and she did it from the ground up, much like what we're doing," said Adnani. 

[RELATED: Kate Spade handbags through the years]

Through her company "Personalized Solutions," Adnani and her business partner Kathryn Gandal have been working on a new line of handbags called "Katco."

"Our colors are bold but still classic and I think she was the master of that," said Adnani. 

They're just months away from their official launch when they heard the news of their role model's passing. 

"I was really sad," said Adnani. "I'm sitting here thinking about Kate Spade and just what a tragedy, and how mental health is really something that shouldn't be taken for granted."

Spade cashed out of her own business, selling it in 2006. But the bags and the stores still bear her name. 

At the Scottsdale Fashion Square location, a single vase of flowers sits in the front window, sent over from a neighboring salon with a note that reads "We'll miss you, Kate Spade." 

"The interesting thing about suicide is it happens across all socioeconomic status and incomes. So it doesn't just affect people who are wealthy, it doesn't just affect people who are poor it affects everybody. And luckily there are services available across all economic statuses," said Sarah Schol with the Crisis Response Network. 

For those in need of help, the Crisis Response Network says its hotline is always available. 

For those in central Arizona, their number is 800-631-1314, and for northern Arizona, they ask you to call 877-756-4090.

They say anyone who needs help can call, even if you're a family member worried about a loved one.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

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Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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