As the world continues to reel from the untimely June 5 passing of esteemed designer Kate Spade, the fashion designer's brother-in-law David Spade donated $100,000 in Spade's honor to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). According to their website, NAMI is a mental health organization "dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness." People reported that Spade made the generous donation to NAMI as a way to pay tribute to Kate and help others who suffer from mental health issues.
Through a statement provided to the magazine, Spade shared, “More people suffer from mental health issues than we may realize but no one should ever feel ashamed to reach out for support.”
The 53-year-old actor and comedian, who is the younger brother of Kate's husband Andy Spade, had previously opened up on social media about his sister-in-law's death, paying tribute to her publicly through both Instagram and Twitter on the night of Tuesday, June 5. On Instagram, he posted a photo of he and Kate, writing, "Fuzzy picture but i love it. Kate and I during Christmas family photos. We had so much fun that day." He continued, revealing that, though she was famous for her designs, he knew her as somewhat of a family comedian. "She was so sharp and quick on her feet," he continued. "She could make me laugh so hard. I still cant believe it. Its a rough world out there people, try to hang on [sic]."
On Twitter Spade shared another photo of Kate and echoed the same sentiment of it being "rough world," while continuing to encourage others to "try to hang on." The photo shows Kate attending one of Spade's book signings, smiling as she gets an autograph.
During a 2015 interview with The Howard Stern Show, Spade discussed how close he and his brother Andy have been over the years. He shared,
"Growing up, I was always at least getting attention because he was cool. We were skateboarding together, but everyone liked him. He was always way ahead of the game. And then there was a window when I got on SNL where I was actually doing a little better and getter cooler for about a year and a half. Then they started Kate Spade and they blew by me on a rocket ship."
David added, "I love having family around. Love [that] Andy's around. He's a smart f*cking guy. He knows his sh*t. And Katy's really, really smart and good — and she's hilarious."
Kate and David's brother, Andy, were partners for 35 years after meeting while they were college students attending Arizona State University, as indicated by Esquire. They jointly started their iconic fashion and lifestyle brand Kate Spade New York a year before they married in 1994 — a business that grew into an empire worth $2.4 billion when it was sold to Coach in May 2017, according to CBS New York. Forbes indicates that Kate and Andy sold a 56% stake in the company to Neiman Marcus for $33.6 million in 1999 and later sold the remaining shares in 2006 to Neiman for approximately $59 million.
On the day of her death, Andy expressed love and admiration for Kate in a statement to the New York Times which revealed that Kate had been in treatment for depression and anxiety. Hopefully David's generous contribution can provide help for others suffering from mental illness.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.