Pulling Back The Curtain: Kate Spade New York
When I think Kate Spade, I think colorful prints and playful sophistication.
From handbags and clothing to jewelry, fashion accessories, fragrance, eyewear, shoes, and more, their high-quality radiant splash of charm exudes.
In 1993, Kate Brosnahan Spade, a former accessories editor at Mademoiselle, fulfilled her desire to design the “perfect” handbag. Starting with just six silhouettes, she forged ahead using palettes in a way rarely explored before: a sleek, practical look with lots of colors. Her first shop quickly followed in 1996, as fashion magazine editors and female consumers gravitated to this fresh, modern style.
By 2007, it became Kate Spade & Company. Under the direction of new officers, the company launched a full clothing and jewelry collection, later followed by bedding, legwear and fragrances. Today, the parent company designs and sells under two global lifestyle brands: Kate Spade New York and Jack Spade. All these additions have proven successful. As Kate herself said, “The bar is high. If it were low, we’d only trip over it.”
By January 2015, Kate Spade employed 3,500 employees within 93 U.S. specialty retail stores, 32 foreign specialty retail stores, 57 U.S. outlet stores, and 14 foreign outlet stores. They manufacture in conjunction with approximately 151 suppliers in 15 countries. Their presence graces every continent and every time zone.
In their factories, all employees are encouraged to speak up when there are internal grievances. Their procedures give workers the opportunity to report their concerns in confidence, even directly to Kate herself.
In 2014, Kate Spade developed On Purpose, a program designed to empower women through trade. This program brought together community artisans within the town of Masoro, in the West African nation of Rwanda. This partnership would help in the crafting of handmade goods supplied to both Kate Spade and Jack Spade brands.
In addition to crafting, the women were taught how to build profitable for-profit businesses. The organization’s goal is for the women’s economic stability to positively transform the entire community of more than 20,000 people. Giving back doesn’t end with Masoro. Kate Spade plans on continuing this trend in other communities.
Today, Kate Spade has grown into a highly-respected global name. Their goal is to continue inspiring colorful living through their timeless and durable, yet stylish and witty merchandise. They are impressively reaching that goal.
Do you know what else is impressive? That I have a Kate Spade purse bought back in 1997, which remains a favorite of mine. Yes, 20 years later, it’s holding up and still adding an exuberant splash of color to my wardrobe.
Thank you, Kate, for letting me live colorfully!