When the news broke on Tuesday that trailblazing fashion genius Kate Spade had died the reaction was immediate.
Locally, public relations veteran Chris Haynes, who like so many was caught off-guard by the 55-year-old Spade’s apparent suicide, posted on line of his shock and sadness. For Haynes it was personal. He oversaw the 1999 opening party for Spade’s Newbury Street boutique while working directly with Spade and her husband, Andy.
As outlets around the world looked for photographs to accompany the stories, many chose the image from the now-defunct Stuff@Night of Spade in Boston in front of a wall of her most colorful handbags. “Out of the millions of Kate Spade photos out there in the Universe, Getty Images shared three pictures and SOMEHOW one of them is from our Boston store opening,” Haynes wrote.
Boston Fashion Week founder and executive director Jay Calderin posted a simple black and white photo of Spade taken by Thomas Iannaccone with a Wendy Mass quote: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Kate Spade (December 24, 1962 – June 5, 2018)
Styleboston’s Tonya Mezrich wrote up a piece outlining her thoughts on Spade’s passing. (And we got her to let us use some of photographs of her with Spade bags.)
“RIP Kate Spade. Your life was, oh, too short. Your whimsical designs gave my husband something to look forward to when choosing gifts for the various holidays: birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Chanukah, you name it. I think my first bag of yours was the pink T-Rex. Who buys dinosaurs for their wives? He saw it in the store and insisted on getting it. It brightened so many peoples’ day each time I wore it to an event—the Hot Pink Party, Valentine’s day, there were so many occasions for a fierce pink T-Rex to attend.
“My list does not end there. A Russian nesting doll hardwood clutch made its way into my collection, too. A Russian name that I cannot pronounce and do not even attempt to, but indeed a whimsical nesting purse with a little doll pouch inside as well in typical Russian nesting fashion. Kate, oh, Kate you were so creative. But my favorite of all your bags is the limited-edition wicker gator. He scared many a diner as we sat al fresco in Miami eating dinner at Michael’s Genuine. Those Floridians are so used to seeing gators, I was surprised he made one yell sitting upon a side table at the outdoor patio, peeking his head out of the nearby shrubs.
“You will not be forgotten. You got your last name from the brother of comedian David Spade, I didn’t know this until now, but to me you were your own spade, a jack of all trades and one that will be sorely missed.”
**Be sure to tune in to Tonya’s new tv series “On The Red Carpet” on NESN Sat/Sun night at 11:30 pm.
I’m not really a “bag” person but I think I have the potential to become one. However I have a few stumbling blocks to overcome. I have a good friend who sells handbags at Neiman Marcus so I often stop in to see her and look around. I like a lot of the bags, especially some of the small Chanel ones for spring. But I just can’t get past the price. Who pays $3900.00 for a small beige shoulder bag or $5,900.00 for the pink quilted one? Apparently a lot of people do, but I’m just not there yet. About 4 years ago a guy who used to do some personal shopping for me at Bloomingdales picked out a “Nancy Gonzales” bag that was on sale. I had never heard of Nancy Gonzales so it didn’t really impress me much when he said the bag was a steal at $985.00. I ended up buying it but I really don’t like it. It weighs a ton and the compartments are hard to find stuff in. But now I’m looking at a used Nancy Gonzales green crocodile bag online for $899.99 and I’m thinking, I could dig it. But then I remember that two summers ago I bought a white no-name bag at Marshalls for about $37.00. I loved it, so much so, I resurrected it for last summer . When I mistakenly carried it into Gillette Stadium last September at the beginning of football season (they have a no bag policy) I emptied the contents into a plastic see-thru Ziploc and put the white bag in the trash. Then, on my way out, I fished it out and took it home. It’s “had it” but I’m hoping to find a bag I like as much for this summer. So Kate Spade, Fendi, Marc Jacobs – what have you got? Otherwise it’s Marshall’s here I come.
An old boyfriend once told me “I like women in hats. It makes them look smart.” I was never quite sure how to take that remark, but I know I took it to heart. I’ve boldly worn hats and fascinators to both casual gatherings and swanky soirees for years. At the very least, it’s a conversation starter. But this year I’m pleased to report, hats are back big time and you and I won’t be the only ones wearing one. Not since the 1940’s have hats looked so good – and I’m not talking about pull over ski beanies. Specifically I’m talking about floppy brimmed hats. Rag & Bone carries a really snazzy series of floppy brim felt hats that are both “smart” and practical. Depending on the style, you can choose from a rich pecan, navy or black. While the Rag & Bone hat is $195.00, you can find cheaper versions of the floppy hat at Kate Spade, Urban Outfitters, and Nordstrom. One of my favorites is the Nordstrom two-tone for just $48.00. The hats are warm and double as an umbrella in light rain or snow. And it’s a good way to avoid too much exposure to the sun. Flop in anytime.
EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
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