Kate Spade, the American designer, died on Tuesday of an apparent suicide. The police said that Ms. Spade, 55, was discovered unresponsive at her Park Avenue apartment, where she had hanged herself. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:26 a.m.
A housekeeper found Ms. Spade in her bedroom hanging from a red scarf tied to a doorknob, the police said. She was unconscious and the housekeeper called 911. She had left a note, but the official did not comment on what it said.
Ms. Spade’s husband was at the scene. A police spokesman did not know the whereabouts of Ms. Spade’s daughter.
Kate Spade, one of the first of a powerful wave of female American contemporary designers in the 1990s, built a brand on the appeal of clothes and accessories that made women smile. Her cheerful non-restraint struck a chord with consumers, as did her bright prints. She herself was the embodiment of her aesthetic, with her proto-1960s bouffant, nerd glasses, and kooky grin, which masked a business mind that saw the opportunities in becoming a lifestyle brand, almost before the term officially existed.