Tributes pour in for Kate Spade

Spade's apparently suicide comes as suicide rates in the United States increased from 1999 to 2014 for everyone between the ages of 10 and 74, according to a 2016 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And that only contributed to the sense of shock and loss in the industry upon hearing the news Tuesday that Spade had apparently taken her own life at 55. Rob explained, "The friends and people like myself had not seen her for several years". Saffo told the Kansas City Star.

WATCH: Kate Spade's body removed from Park Avenue apartment.

After news of her suicide emerged, it was claimed by sources close to the couple that Andy had recently asked Kate for a divorce. Saffo told the paper she frequently visited her sister in NY and Napa, where Spade had a vacation home.

As we reported, the handbag designer was found in her NY apartment on Tuesday after she reportedly hung herself.

"I'd spoken with them on the phone (not telling them exactly who the patient would be)", Saffo said. Unfortunately, untreated, it finally took its toll on her. The designer was "actively seeking help for depression and anxiety over the last 5 years", Spade said. "I said we could talk about it all - our childhood, etc".

"She helped pave the way for more and more women to the enter the industry, not only as a designer but as the head of her own company. and I think again pushing the idea of American companies", said Patricia Mears of the Fashion Institute of Technology.

She described nostalgically how Andy, who funded her eponymous handbag line after launching it in 1993 by putting all of his salary from an advertising job behind it, proposed to her in the Hamptons. Their 13-year old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade, was living with both parents.

"We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly", they said in a statement Tuesday. She called them her "stepping stones" - and said years later that they were still her favorites.

Kate Spade was found dead in her NY apartment on Tuesday. The brand grew quickly and expanded to include shoes, luggage and other accessories, as well as a home line, stationery, and books. They sold the business to Neiman Marcus in 2006, launching Frances Valentine nine years later. As the shocking news spread, Bravolebs took to social media to speak out about the death and what the designer and brand meant to them.

In a 2017 interview with Women's Wear Daily, Brosnahan said she admired fashion "from afar" but added "people around me have said that I've inherited little pieces of Katy's style".

Other reports suggest that Spade's death is similar to another high-profile suicide - that of fashion designer L'Wren Scott, the longtime girlfriend of Mick Jagger.

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