TIMELINE: A look at Kate Spade's life

NEW YORK (KTRK) -- The fashion designer most know as Kate Spade was born Katherine Noel Brosnahan on December 24, 1962.

She graduated with a degree in journalism from Arizona State University in 1985.

In 1986, she worked at Mademoiselle magazine in Manhattan.

She left Mademoiselle in 1991, and began "kate spade handbags" in January of 1993 with her husband, Andy Spade. Andy Spade is the brother of comedian/actor David Spade. The couple met working at a clothing store while living in Arizona.

In 1996, the Kate Spade brand opened its first boutique in Mahattan's SoHo district.

By 1998, the company's annual revenue had skyrocketed to $27 million.

Spade eventually sold most of her company to the Neiman Marcus Group in 1999. Then, in 2006, she sold the remainder of the Kate Spade brand to them.

Later, Neiman Marcus sold the Kate Spade brand to Liz Claiborne Inc.

In May 2017, Coach, Inc. acquired Kate Spade for $2.4 billion.

Spade moved on to launch a new luxury brand, Frances Valentine. She was so committed to the idea of bringing new luxury shoes and handbags to market that she even legally changed her name to Kate Valentine Spade.

On June 5, 2018 she was found hanged in her Park Avenue apartment in an apparent suicide. The 55-year-old left a note at the scene and was found by a housekeeper at about 10:20 a.m. It's not clear how long she had been dead. Officials said she was found with a red scarf around her neck attached to a doorknob.

The company she founded, Kate Spade New York, now has over 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the U.S. and more than 175 shops internationally.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.