Many fans spoke of the confidence they felt wearing Spade's designs and the aspirational quality of the brand, Kate Spade New York, which served as their first foray into luxury goods.
"Kate's designs made women everywhere smile and feel beautiful. What a loss," political strategist Tracy Russo wrote.
I still have my 1st Kate Spade bag, a simple black Sam bag. And today I carried one with me as I traipsed around Amalfi. Kate’s designs made women everywhere smile and feel beautiful. What a loss. pic.twitter.com/iK3bmAg9gJ— Tracy Russo (@tracyrusso) June 5, 2018
I really am so sad about Kate Spade. Her designs have been symbols of confidence and independence for so many women. I bought the 25th Anniversary Sam purse last month as a 25th birthday present for myself. Rest In Peace, Kate ♠️ pic.twitter.com/mzYPeD3l6H— Kara Driscoll (@KaraDDriscoll) June 5, 2018
Kate Spade was my introduction to luxury. When I started working full-time my first “real purchase” was a Kate Spade bag and wallet.— Taylor Jay (@AZealousVoice) June 5, 2018
i stole a kate spade purse from a department store when i was 15 and wore it every day for years. i was a poor kid at a rich school. that bag was like armor and camouflage and a hall pass that diminished the pain of being on the wrong side of my high school's economic divide.— Jessica Blankenship (@blanketboat) June 5, 2018
Growing up I always felt that luxury items were something that were beyond my reach or that I was never good enough for. I remember the excitement & fear when I placed my first order for a Kate Spade bag. I bought it as a gift for me, to celebrate everything pic.twitter.com/Mq3MsXkS9R— that thing (@eviestatt) June 5, 2018
Others sounded off on the offbeat, whimsical look Spade's designs came to be known for, remarking that they had finally found a brand in which they saw themselves.
"Kate Spade gave weirdos, like me, a bag that made matched their quirky personality," wrote Baylee Raya.
Kate Spade gave weirdos, like me, a bag that made matched their quirky personality. pic.twitter.com/0NXVqxBGIk— Baylee Raya (@rayadarling45) June 5, 2018
Taxicab flats, a typewriter-inspired minaudiere and a tote bag with a camel stood out amongst fans as some of the more memorable designs from Spade and her namesake brand.
I love Kate Spade bags and shoes. Her products were so cheery and always made me feel happy. Her death is another tragic reminder that we need to take mental health seriously in this country. Deepest sympathies to her family. pic.twitter.com/9zHXlKAp9V— Kristan Higgins Is On Vacation (@Kristan_Higgins) June 5, 2018
I am so sad about Kate Spade. I know to a lot of people bags are bags, but her purses have brought me so much joy (I call my typewriter bag a therapy bag because people like to pet it and smile).— Alisha Rai (@AlishaRai) June 5, 2018
I hope she knows how happy she made complete strangers. Much peace, Kate. pic.twitter.com/I0sLbLsinp
Spade launched her company with husband Andy in their apartment in 1993. Her original lines incorporated six shapes of bags that she thought every working woman needed. It created a smash. From the original boxy handbags, she expanded into shoes, luggage and other accessories, as well as a home line, stationery, and three books.
Though Spade sold Kate Spade New York in 2007, her aesthetic continued to influence the brand's designs well beyond her departure. Spade and her husband later started a new handbag company, Frances Valentine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.