The sudden death of American Kate Spade is not the first time fashion designers have died before their time.

We take a look at the design maestros we continue to dearly miss.

Kate Spade


The American fashion designer, 55, who committed suicide by hanging on Monday, according to police officials, is survived by her husband Andy Spade and their 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix.

She addressed her daughter in a note she left, which is believed to have said: “Bea – I have always loved you. This is not your fault. Ask Daddy!”

Coach acquires Kate Spade to chase millennial luxury spenders

The designer had been known for her colourful, tongue-in-cheek accessories since her debut in 1993.

Her company was acquired last year by Tapestry, the fashion conglomerate which also owns Coach and Stuart Weitzman.

Alexander McQueen

The fashion genius Alexander McQueen took his own life in February 2010.

The 40-year-old designer hanged himself in the wardrobe of his London home.

Five times Alexander McQueen made history in fashion

Known for his whimsical and romantic designs, McQueen is often dubbed as one of the most important English fashion designers, who included celebrity fans such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Naomi Campbell, and Kate Moss.

His retrospective, “Savage Beauty”, shown at London’s V&A in 2011, became the arts and design museum’s most visited exhibition.

Richard Nicoll

Fashion designer Richard Nicoll died suddenly aged 39 after suffering a severe heart attack in Sydney in 2016.

How lack of diversity on catwalk is failing Australian fashion

The British-born designer had graduated from Central Saint Martins, in London, in 2002 and then returned to Australia where he had grown up, to develop his eponymous label.

Before his death, he had been preparing to take up the role of creative director at Adidas.

Raffaele Borriello

Shanghai Tang’s creative director Raffaele Borriello died in Paris on July 4, 2017 because of complications during surgery.

Shanghai Tang’s creative director Raffaele Borriello dies in Paris

Before joining Shanghai Tang, the Italian designer had worked for other luxury fashion labels including Leonard and Sonia Rykiel.

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If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, help is available. For Hong Kong, dial +852 28 960 000 for The Samaritans or +852 23 820 000 for Suicide Prevention Services. In the US, call The Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255. For a list of other nations’ helplines, see this page.