There was a great article published last week about Andy and Kate Spade called The Spades’ New Bag which was about their rise and… well, continuing rise to success. I never really knew about the history of this talented couple, so it was great to hear their story. As some of you know, Kate Spade started her name brand, hi-end women’s bag line back in 1993 and was an instant hit. In 1998 Andy Spade started Jack Spade, the men’s bag line that is still a huge hit with men wanting cool bags. But over the years they sold a percentage of the companies to Neiman Marcus, who then bought the companies from them and then sold them both to Liz Claiborne. Phew.
Nowadays though Kate is just a mom, raising their daughter Bea, while Andy runs Partners & Spade, the brains behind J.Crew’s beautiful Liquor Store. I’m just amazed by their sheer talent and the fact that more than anything they’re just doing things that make them happy. This is my favorite part of the piece:
A decade later, of course, it’s hard to see any of this as unique; Spade’s aesthetic has been knocked off all over the map, but Soho, circa 1999, was in the throes of the clunky heels, the color black, and the addition of spandex in places it really had no right to be.
And in the end there is something especially accessible—and enduring—about the Spade brand: It is friendly, and it is almost goofy, and, most important, it offers a way of being fashionable without looking absurd. Twenty years from now, you’re not going to look at pictures of yourself in a button-down and cords and wonder what you were thinking. And it manages to be preppy without the whiff of the restricted country club: It takes much more delight in the world than that. “It’s the world of Dobie Gillis,” says Andy’s friend Glenn O’Brien. “It’s just a more casual and user-friendly experience.” It’s preppy, yes, but it is definitely not Republican.