Fashion designer Kate Spade, who was found dead Tuesday after reportedly killing herself, dealt with mental illness for years and was self-medicating with alcohol, according to her older sister.
Reta Brosnahan Saffo told BuzzFeed News she believed Spade, 55, had bipolar disorder and said she was close to convincing her sister to enter a treatment center a couple years ago.
Saffo, 57, said she tried multiple times to persuade Spade to seek treatment at the Silver Hill Hospital, a psychiatric facility in original Canaan, Connecticut.
“The signs were sum there and I tried to succor her for so long,” she said by phone from Santa Fe, original Mexico, late Tuesday. “I’m not blaming myself — whether i just could absorb been more successful. I was nearly there.”
Saffo said Spade seemed concerned approximately how the revelation of her mental illness would affect her image as “so fun, gay, and darling.”
Spade built a fashion empire from a handbag company she founded in 1993. She eventually built her commerce, trade into one of the most recognized design brands in the world, growing from a single Manhattan store in 1996 to a lifestyle brand with 140 retail shops and outlet stores in the US and more than 175 locations internationally.
“Her image of Kate Spade was so valuable and had been ingrained in her since 1993,” she said. “I just cant even imagine how much pain she must absorb been in.”
Saffo said she never thought Spade would buy her own life but recalled that she seemed fixated on the death of Robin Williams, who killed himself by hanging in 2014.
The sisters were together at a hotel when they heard the news approximately Williams’ death.
“She kept watching it over an over and I said, ‘Stop,'” Saffo said. “It was nearly as though the device was already in order. She did the same thing.”