When news broke that Kate Valentine, better known as Kate Spade, took her own life earlier this month, it rocked both the fashion industry and the wider world. On Wednesday morning, Kate Spade, the brand, announced its plan to donate more than $1 million to causes dedicated to suicide prevention and awareness as a tribute to its late founder.
"Mental illness does not discriminate; it is complicated and difficult to diagnose and can often be life-threatening," said CEO of Kate Spade New York Anna Bakst. "We hope that our support will shed even more light on the disease and encourage those who suffer from mental health issues to seek help. Collectively, we must all do more."
The brand is starting by donating $250,000 to the Crisis Text Line, and promising to match up to $100,000 in public donations made to the organization between June 20 and June 29 at CrisisTextLine.org/KateSpadeNY.
Though Kate Spade, the person, had not been personally involved in her namesake brand for more than a decade, much of the public's response to her death was understandably directed at the label with whic so many still associated her with. In addition to donating funds, the brand will also be hosting a Global Mental Health Awareness Day for its employees as part of a larger wellness program that will be rolled out in the coming months.
"Kate Spade was a true fashion icon who brought joy to the lives of women around the world, and inspired women to live life to the fullest. We are dedicated to carrying on her legacy," said Bakst. "The outpouring of love on social media and in our shops from customers of all ages has been overwhelming and moving. It is such a beautiful reflection of how much Kate was loved."