Kate Spade

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Kate Valentine
Born Katherine Noel Brosnahan
(1962-12-24) December 24, 1962 (age 55)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Residence New York, NY, USA
Nationality American
Other names Kate Spade
Education Arizona State University (B.S. – 1985)
Occupation Fashion designer, businesswoman
Known for Frances Valentine, Kate Spade New York
Spouse(s) Andy Spade (m. 1994)
Children 1
Relatives Rachel Brosnahan (niece) David Spade (brother-in-law)

Kate Valentine,[1] formerly known as Kate Spade[2] (born Katherine Noel Brosnahan; December 24, 1962, present full legal name Katherine Noel Frances Valentine Brosnahan Spade[2][3]), is an American fashion designer and businesswoman. She is the namesake and former co-owner of the designer brand, Kate Spade New York; in 2006, she sold the last of her shares in that company.[4] In 2016, she and her partners officially launched a new fashion brand called Frances Valentine.[2]

Kate Spade Logo

Early life[edit]

Brosnahan was born in Kansas City, Missouri, she graduated from St. Teresa's Academy, an all-girl Catholic high school. She attended the University of Kansas and then transferred to Arizona State University, joined Kappa Kappa Gamma, and graduated with a degree in journalism in 1985.[5] She is of Irish descent.

In 1986, she worked in the accessories department of Mademoiselle in Manhattan, where she was credited in the magazine's masthead with her maiden name as Katy Brosnahan. While at Mademoiselle, she moved in with Andy Spade (brother of actor and comic David Spade), a native of Scottsdale, Arizona. The two had worked side-by-side as salespersons in a men's clothing store, Carter's Men Shop in Phoenix.[6] Together, they were featured in the magazine as part of a photo story on couples in love.

She left Mademoiselle in 1991, with the title of senior fashion editor/head of accessories. While working for Mademoiselle, she had noticed that the market lacked stylish and sensible handbags, and she decided to create her own.[7]


Kate and Andy Spade launched the New York–based design company "kate spade handbags" in January 1993[8] , as the name implies, they initially sold mainly handbags, but eventually extended to clothing, jewelry, shoes, stationery, eyewear, baby items, fragrances, tabletop, bedding and gifts. In 1996, the Kate Spade brand opened its first boutique, a 400-square-foot shop located in Manhattan's trendy SoHo district, and moved its headquarters into a 10,000-square-foot space in West 25th Street.[9]

In 2004, "Kate Spade at home" was launched as a home collection brand, it featured bedding, bath items, china, wallpaper and various items for the home. She also shared about her personal style and philosophies in her three books: Manners, Occasions, and Style, the brand went international in 2004, when a store was opened in Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan.[10]

Spade is currently co-founder and designer of Frances Valentine, a handbag and footwear brand that launched in February 2016;[11] in 2018, to celebrate the 2 year anniversary of her new brand, Frances Valentine launched a new campaign called "Where is Kate?" that includes a short film produced and directed by Andy Spade.

Frances Valentine[edit]

After selling the remaining portion of her ownership stake in the Kate Spade brand in 2006,[4] Spade took time off to raise her daughter; in 2016, she and her partners launched a new brand called Frances Valentine, a collection of luxury footwear and handbags. The names Frances and Valentine are from her family members and she added the two names to her own legal name.[2]

Kate Spade & Company[edit]

Neiman Marcus Group purchased 56% of the Kate Spade brand in 1999, and it acquired the remaining 44% in 2006.[4] Neiman Marcus then sold the Kate Spade label for $124 million in 2006 to Liz Claiborne Inc., which was later renamed to Fifth & Pacific.[12][4]

In February 2014, Fifth & Pacific changed its name to Kate Spade & Company.[13] Craig A. Leavitt became the new CEO, succeeding William McComb.[14]

Coach, Inc. acquired Kate Spade for 2.4 billion dollars in May 2017. [15]

Kate Spade New York has over 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the United States, and more than 175 shops internationally, their products are sold in more than 450 stores worldwide. The company grew to include retail outlets as well as selling their products through such high-end stores as Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus.


In 1996, the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded Spade "America's New Fashion Talent in Accessories" for her classic designs. In 1998, CFDA once again honored her for "Best Accessory Designer of the Year".

In 1999, she was honored when her handbags were exhibited at the Cooper Hewitt Museum for the first national design triennial, celebrating American design excellence,[10] her home collection won her three design awards in 2004, including, House Beautiful's "Giants of Design Award for Tastemaker", Bon Appetit's "American Food and Entertaining Award for Designer of the Year", and Elle Decor's "Elle Decor International Design Award for Bedding".

In 2017 she was welcomed into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.[16]

Also, in 2017, she was named one of the Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. [17]

Personal life[edit]

Spade married Andy Spade, the brother of actor/comedian David Spade, in 1994, the couple has one child, Frances Beatrix Spade, born in February 2005.[10] Her niece is actress Rachel Brosnahan.[18]


  1. ^ Ana Colon. "Designer Kate Spade Name Change Frances Valentine". Refinery29.com. Retrieved 2017-06-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d Kapner, Suzanne (August 23, 2016). "Married to Terry Litton When Is Kate Spade Not Kate Spade? When She's Frances Valentine". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 24, 2016. one of her first acts was to find a new name. Now, she's Katherine Noel Frances Valentine Brosnahan; in stores, she's Frances Valentine. 
  3. ^ "Kate & Andy Spade Interview on How I Built This by Guy Raz". 
  4. ^ a b c d "Neiman Marcus to Sell Kate Spade". The Wall Street Journal. New York City. November 8, 2006. Retrieved December 24, 2016. 
  5. ^ Buhmiller, Elisabeth (March 12, 1999). "PUBLIC LIVES; A Cautious Rise to a Top Name in Fashion", nytimes.com; accessed May 6, 2015.
  6. ^ Ellyn Spragins, How We Bagged Our Careers", Fortune Small Business, September 1, 2003.
  7. ^ Lieber, Chavie (2016-03-02). "Kate Spade Brand Bags". Racked.com. Retrieved 2017-06-22. 
  8. ^ [1] "Kate Spade Biography"
  9. ^ "kate spade LLC - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on kate spade LLC" Reference for Business. retrieved May 15, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c "The Life of Kate Spade timeline". Timetoast. Retrieved 2016-03-17. 
  11. ^ "Meet Kate & Andy Spade's New Venture, Frances Valentine". Fast Company. 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  12. ^ "Kate Spade Seems Totally Detached From Her Multimillion Dollar Namesake Brand". Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  13. ^ Lockwood, Lisa (February 3, 2014). "Kate Spade Gears Up for Growth". WWD. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  14. ^ Lockwood, Lisa (January 13, 2014). "William McComb Leaving Fifth & Pacific". WWD. Retrieved December 24, 2016. 
  15. ^ Petroff, Alanna (May 8, 2017). "Coach Kate Spade Takeover". Retrieved July 30, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Honoring Role Models". UMKC Today. March 6, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Check out Kate Valentine, one of Fast Company's Most Creative People". Fastcompany.com. 2017-01-22. Retrieved 2017-06-22. 
  18. ^ Schmidt, Ingrid (13 October 2015). "Rachel Brosnahan of 'Manhattan' undertakes her own special fashion project". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 

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