...On The Passing of Kate Spade

June 6, 2018

Kate Spade was an icon. An entrepreneur, a friend, a wife, a mother and on a larger scale, a symbol. She represented hope for young girls, success for young women and everyday glamour for the working-woman everywhere. So in a world where she had “everything”, how did she feel that she had nothing to live for? I am not a shrink but having spent the last 24 hours trying to avoid the coverage of her suicide, one can only imagine the clichés coming our away. At the risk of speaking too soon, I’d like to pass by most of that. IF you find yourself needing comfort, please seek help. IF you find yourself feeling alone with nowhere turn please call 1-800-273-8255. And if you find that the caring stranger on the other end of the line isn’t able to ease your pain, please take solace in knowing that whatever ancient power that created the earth, the stars and the energy that powers us all, is rooting for you. The space you that you fill on this earth is earmarked for your soul alone and can never be replaced. So to anyone who feels that they have nothing to live for always know that YOU live for yourself. You are worthy of the desires of your heart, the promises of your God and all the greatness that resides in humanity.

To my peers in the fashion community, I join you in your loss as we celebrate the legacy of one of our own. But can I ask you a question? How did this happen? How does this keep happening? How in a community that thrives on sensitivity and perception, do we keep missing this? Is it because the sensitivity and perception that is fueling our creativity is corrupted by the money and greed of others, or worst, of ourselves? After we lost Alexander McQueen in 2010 and L’Wren Scott in 2014 how have we not learned that our most creative and our most beloved feel alone. After the #MeToo movement hit the modeling industry how have we not learned that our muses feel abused. And after Andre Leon Talley’s latest film, how can we not accept that some of our greatest minds feel abandoned in the end.

During these times of trials and tribulation, we as an industry and a community must reflect on where we are and seek our truth. And the truth isn’t pretty. We work too hard, we pay too little, and we strive for perfection knowing it’s unattainable. Our products are too expensive and our people are hurting. We must protect each other from the harsh of reality of the real world because we are sensitive and believe in fantasy. The fashion industry is a place where anything is possible. Beauty is celebrated and the theatrics of kitsch are encouraged. Those who thrive in such a world are almost certain to have heightened emotions, higher highs, lower lows and possess a void that can only be filled with the beauty and majesty of creation.  So at your next influencer dinner or behind the scenes at fashion week parties take a second to look your fellow creator in the eye. Do not tweet them or send them expensive flowers just so they can give you an Instagram shout out. Look AT them. SEE them. And meet them where they are. Let them know they are seen, they are heard and they are valid. They are not alone. Let them know that they alone are a beautiful creation that can fill any void and that the world is better off for having encountered their space. Because if we don’t start taking the time to check-in, empower encourage, see each other and just say hello, we may spend the rest of our days, saying good-bye.

If you're reading this, please send love and light to Kate Spade's daughter. For she truly feels this lost, most of all.


Jefferson Ellison

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