While growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, Katherine Noel Brosnahan, now Kate Spade, was both the epitome and antithesis of the all-american girl. There was always something charmingly familiar yet wonderfully original about Kate. Her fresh sense of style and singular personality reflected a keen wit, propriety, and a no-nonsense approach to life.
After college in 1986, she took a job at Mademoiselle Magazine, leaving in 1991 with the title of Senior Fashion Editor/head of accessories. While working at the magazine, she realized that the market lacked stylish, practical handbags and so innocently began designing her own. She put together some sketches, investigated production costs, and created a line of classically shaped bags in satinfinished nylon, as well as interesting colors and fabrics. With her fingers crossed, Kate, along with her partner and husband, Andy Spade, launched "Kate Spade handbags" in January of 1993.
In 1996, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) honored Kate's classic designs by awarding her America's new fashion talent in accessories. Kate was honored once again by the CFDA in 1998, as best accessory designer of the year. in 1999, kate was honored when her handbags were exhibited at the Cooper Hewitt Museum for the first national design triennial, celebrating american design excellence. For her new home collection, Kate was presented with three prestigious design awards in 2004: House Beautiful's Giants of Design Award for tastemaker, Bon Appetit's American Food & Entertaining Award for designer of the year, and ELLE Decor's Elle Decor International Design Award for Bedding.