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Kate Spade's niece, actress Rachel Brosnahan, pays tribute to late designer

Kate Spade, iconic fashion designer, dead at 55

Actress Rachel Brosnahan, star of "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," paid tribute on Instagram to her late aunt, Kate Spade, whose maiden name was Kate Brosnahan. Spade was found dead Tuesday in an apparent suicide.

On Wednesday, Brosnahan posted a lively video of Spade dancing with her husband at a Mexican restaurant on Instagram. She wrote, "Knowing Katy, this is how she would want to be remembered. She had a light that words can't capture but touched everyone she came into contact with." 

Brosnahan continued, "She was exceedingly kind, beautifully sensitive, insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known. She was effervescent. Hug your loved ones extra tight today."

On Wednesday, the designer's husband, Andy Spade, released a statement saying that Kate was struggling with depression. 

"She was actively seeking help for depression and anxiety over the last five years, seeing a doctor on a regular basis and taking medication for both depression and anxiety," Andy Spade said in the statement, which was obtained by The New York Times. "There was no substance or alcohol abuse. There were no business problems. We loved creating our businesses together. We were co-parenting our beautiful daughter. I have yet to see any note left behind and am appalled that a private message to my daughter has been so heartlessly shared with the media."

Kate Spade's sister, Reta Saffo, told CBS News in an email that the designer suffered from bipolar disorder. "It finally took its toll on her," Saffo wrote. "A very tragic and sad ending to the life of a very colorful and delightful being." She also said that she "tried numerous times to get her help."

Andy Spade confirmed he and his wife, who he married in 1994, had been "living separately" for 10 months. He said they were living blocks from each other, and their 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix, was living with both of them.

A housekeeper on Tuesday found Kate Spade hanging from a red scarf tied to a doorknob in her bedroom, according to police. The designer left a suicide note addressed to her 13-year-old daughter, telling her it was not her fault, reports CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan.

"The contents of that note as well as the physical state of the apartment and the comments of the witness lend to the credibility that it is an apparent suicide," NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said Tuesday.

The 55-year-old became a fashion industry darling in the 1990s with a simple but whimsical style. She and her husband built a fashion empire around her signature handbags, counting celebrities like actress Ellie Kemper among her clientele.

How Kate Spade built an accessories empire
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