After the untimely death of their brilliant founder due to a suicide, Kate Spade New York has committed 1 million dollars for charitable causes for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. The news first broke on WWD.

The donations will begin with 250,000 dollars to the Crisis Text Line, and public donations to the non-profit organization will be matched up to 100,000 dollars from June 20 to June 29.

Spade became famous for her colorful and playful handbag designs, which were credited with launching the designer handbag craze in America. In 2007, she sold the company to Liz Claiborne Inc., which completely transformed itself into Kate Spade & Co., and later sold it off to what is now Tapestry, Inc., formerly Coach, Inc. In 2015, Kate Spade along with her former partners from Kate Spade & Co. launched a new line, Frances Valentine.

“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 Anna Bakst, brand president and chief executive officer of Kate Spade New York, in a statement. “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.”

Baskt added, “Mental health does not discriminate; it is complicated and difficult to diagnose and can often be life-threatening. 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.”

A study done by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in 2014 stated that suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., imposing a cost of 51 billion dollars to the U.S. annually. Women are also 2 times more likely to attempt suicide than men, and on average there are 121 suicides per day.

As part of their commitment to suicide prevention, Kate Spade New York will be hosting a Global Mental Health Awareness Day for Employees in corporate and regional offices as part of their new Wellness Program.

Spade’s funeral will take place Thursday at 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Redemptorist Church in Kansas City, Missouri. The industry will bid farewell to one of American fashion's most iconic stars who will forever be missed.

If you, or someone you know are contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433 in North America or +44 (0) 116 123 in the UK.

 

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