In “Spades”

Kate Spade “Spice Things Up” wicker camel bag, $399.90 More info/purchase

Kate Spade seemed to have “IT” in spades (talent, drive, determination, moxie, confidence, and a vision that she successfully parlayed into a lifestyle brand).  There was timelessness to her unapologetically un-edgy, un-hip, often colorful, upbeat, fresh designs, many of which could not help but automatically put a smile on one’s face. That, of course, was part of her appeal. I myself would rarely pass one of her boutiques (whether on Madison Avenue, Soho, or the Flatiron District), without walking in and very often, I found something unique and quirky.

It is not really surprising that on the heels of Kate’s tragic and untimely death, there has been a renewed interest and increase in purchases of her bags in the online marketplace. According to the consignment e-tailer Tradesy, “the online marketplace saw a sextupling of average prices, a doubling of supply, and an 800 percent increase in purchases of Kate Spade handbags”. In addition, it was reported that “bags that sold for $50 the previous week were fetching $300 almost immediately after it was learned that Spade had committed suicide” according to Kamini Lane, chief marketing officer of Tradesy. She also told The Business of Fashion that “Whenever an artist of any kind passes, it’s a common thing that you see both demand for their products increase and average price also increase, but I’ve never seen a jump this significant before”.

Assuredly, it was Kate’s handbags that initially put her on the fashion map and while her original offerings were decidedly functional, minimalist, and clean-lined, perhaps most in keeping with her cheery, whimsical aesthetic are her fun, novel designs. Of course, this is also paradoxically poignant given that she struggled with anxiety and depression for many years.

A recent search on eBay turned up 11 of her highly collectible bags and because they are made of straw and wicker, they could not be more perfect for this time of the year.

Kate Spade New York “Strut Your Stuff” elephant wicker bag, $799. More info/purchase

Kate Spade New York rare armadillo wicker bag, $490. More info/purchase

Kate Spade New York Dalmatian wicker wristlet bag, $325. More info/purchase

Kate Spade New York “Down the Rabbit Hole – Wicker Bee” bag, $359. More Info/purchase

Kate Spade New York “Spring Forward” wicker snail crossbody bag, $298. More info/purchase

Kate Spade New York “Full Plume Embroidered Straw Peacock Clutch”, $285. More info/purchase

Kate Spade New York Limited Edition “Vita Riva” wicker car bag, $499.99.&More info/purchase

Kate Spade New York “Haute Stuff Parrot Cage” wicker and leather wristlet bag, $539.99.More info/purchase

Kate Spade New York “Swamped 3D Alligator” wicker bag, $875.More info/purchase

Kate Spade New York “Splash Out Crab” wicker bag, $475. More info/Purchase This is one of my personal favorites because I am a Cancerian ( June 21- July 23), which is symbolized by the crab. It would also make a great gift for someone you know who is born this time of the year.

– Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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