Designer Kate Spade dead at 55 of an apparent suicide

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Andrew Toth/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Award-winning fashion designer Kate Spade was found hanged in her Park Avenue apartment on Tuesday, the New York Police Department has confirmed to ABC News. She was 55.

Police were called to the apartment by a household employee at about 10 a.m. They are treating the death as an apparent suicide.  A police source tells ABC News that there was a note found near where Spade's body was found hanging.

Spade got her start working at Mademoiselle magazine in 1986, and during her time there, decided that there was room in the market for a line of stylish yet sensible handbags.  She and her husband Andy Spade -- brother of David Spade -- launched their handbag company in 1993, and it eventually expanded to include clothing, jewelry, eye wear, fragrances, bedding, gifts and more.

In 2004, Spade launched a home collection brand, and went international.  In 2006, she sold her remaining ownership stake in the company and took time off to raise her daughter, Frances.  In 2016, she started a new brand called Frances Valentine, which sells handbags and footwear.

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