Designer Kate Spade was found dead at her New York home on Tuesday. Police said that Spade committed suicide by hanging, she was only 55. Spade created an accessories empire that helped define the look of a generation. Family and friends were shocked by Spade’s sudden death.

Spade’s family speaks out

For the first time since Kate’s death her husband, Andy Spade, is speaking out. Andy acknowledged that his wife had been suffering from severe depression for some time. Kate and her husband were business partners that started the business 24 years ago. Eventually, they built the handbag company into a billion-dollar brand.

Andy said that his wife had suffered from anxiety at points during their relationship. However, her bouts of severe depression didn’t begin until she was 49, only around six years ago. Mr. Spade said that that Kate was seeking help and working with doctors to help her with her anxiety and depression. He also went on to say that the night before her suicide Kate sounded happy.

“We were in touch with her the night before, and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her,” he said.

Divorce may have been a reason

Mr. Spade did admit that the couple had been living somewhat separate lives for the last few months but were not legally separated and never discussed divorce. The couple had different apartments only a few blocks from each other. However, Mr. Spade said that they were still best friends and took vacations together.

Frances Beatrix, their daughter, split her time between her parents. The night of her mother’s suicide Frances was with her father. Kate left a note behind that addressed her daughter, but so far the family has not been shown the letter.

Reports are that the family heard about the letter through the media who police have given some details too. The letter expressed that Frances should not feel at fault for Kate’s death. Mr. Spade said that he was “appalled” that the private message had been shared with the media.