Fond memories. Kate Spade’s former publicist, Rob Shuter, opened up to Us Weekly about what it was like to work with the late designer.
“I worked for her when she launched Kate Spade Beauty, so I think it was in 2002, 2003, and then I worked with her for I think two, three years,” Shuter exclusively told Us on Wednesday, June 6. “So after Kate Spade Beauty was launched, then she hired me to continue doing her press.”
“She was delightful,” he continued. “She was decent, she was kind, and she demanded everybody around her be fair and be polite. Manners were really, really important to her. Pleases and thank yous were not something you couldn’t do without. When you were with Kate, you were expected to say please and thank you. She was big on writing thank you notes, so when she went on that tour, I would get a list of everybody at the store that she interacted with and she would send everybody a personalized note.”
Shuter added that Spade was greeted by “massive” crowds during her appearances at stories like Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Saks. “I remember being with her in Dallas and we were joking that she was like on tour like Madonna,” he explained. “So she was gonna have these T-shirts made up with all the dates on it. She never did, but she thought it was really funny.”
According to Shuter, however, Spade was also “uncomfortable” with fame. “She didn’t really enjoy doing press, she didn’t enjoy being photographed. She turned down invites all the time,” he told Us. “She got invited to every fabulous event in New York, every Broadway opening, every dinner party, and she would never ignore them because she was so polite. She’d always write a very polite, short ‘thank you but no thank you’ note. She was the queen of saying no thank you.”
Spade was found dead in her New York City apartment on Tuesday, June 5. The medical examiner’s office confirmed to Us Weekly on Thursday, June 7, that the 55-year-old’s cause of death was suicide by hanging.
“She was almost from a different era. She was like from the 30s,” Shuter told Us about the late designer. “She loved black and white movies. When we were traveling together I remember I’d go up to her … She’d always call me. I think she got lonely, so she’d call my room and she’d say she’d ordered breakfast for the two of us and come up to her room, and she’d always have a black-and-white movie on.”
Spade is survived by her 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix, whom she shared with her estranged husband, Andy Spade.
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
With reporting by Marc Lupo
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