Kate Spade New York has announced plans to donate $1 million to support suicide prevention and mental health awareness causes in tribute to the company’s late founder.
To start, the company said Wednesday the Kate Spade New York Foundation is giving $250,000 to the Crisis Text Line, a free, 24-hour confidential text message service for people in crisis.
The company also said it will match public donations made to the service from June 20 through June 29, up to an amount of $100,000.
Kate Spade New York also says it will host a Global Mental Health Awareness Day for employees as part of its Wellness Program.
The 55-year-old fashion designer was found dead by suicide on June 5 in her New York apartment. Her husband says she had depression and anxiety for many years.
Meanwhile, friends and loved ones bid their final farewell to Kate Thursday a private funeral in Kansas City, Missouri, also the birthplace of the renowned designer.
Spade was one of the biggest names in American fashion, known especially for her sleek handbags.
An additional tragedy befell the family hours before the late-afternoon service, as Spade’s “heartbroken” 89-year-old father died at his home in the Midwestern US city.
The family said Earl Brosnahan had been in failing health.
Mourners gathered at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Redemptorist Church on a rainy, dark afternoon, but The Kansas City Star reported that some of Spade’s school friends carried signature handbags of the designer whose use of bright colors and prints proved a hit with career women.
“She was incredibly kind and had a very memorable laugh,” a friend, Margie Morrison, told The Star.
Before getting into fashion design, Spade worked as a journalist, including a stint as an accessories editor at Mademoiselle magazine.
She launched her Kate Spade label in 1993 with husband Andy Spade.
More than a decade ago, Spade sold her business and later launched the luxury line, Frances Valentine.
“She was actively seeking help for depression and anxiety over the last five years, seeing a doctor on a regular basis and taking medication for both depression and anxiety,” her husband Andy Spade said in a statement carried by The New York Times earlier this month.
Spade’s father died Wednesday night surrounded by family, according to a statement the family released to The Star.
“He had been in failing health of late and was heartbroken over the recent death of his beloved daughter,” the family said.