KATE SPADE’S DEATH REMINDS US THAT EVERYONE HAS A STORY THAT’S NOT BEING TOLD

Letter from The Editor

APPARATUS editor Maro Onokpise on how Kate Spade’s death should be a wake up call for the fashion industry.


For whatever reason, today’s news about Kate Spade’s death really hit me.  Not in a personal sense, because I didn’t know her, but more from a point of reflection. Now we don’t know why she decided to commit suicide or what demons she was struggling with, but her death like the deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington should give us all pause.

I can’t help but wonder why someone who seemingly had everything, a recognizable fashion label that many would dream to have, the New York lifestyle and all the trappings that comes with that life would decided to end their life at a fairly young age. It just goes to show that in this world of Instagram and portraying how perfect our lives are in carefully curated photos is all really a bunch of bullshit.

Mind you, she committed suicide the day after the CFDA Awards. For those not in the know, the CFDA is one of the most prestigious Awards that can be bestowed on anyone in the fashion industry. I’ve sat front row and New York Fashion Week, been behind the scenes and have attended my fair share of fashion shows. It’s one of the most incredible events you could ever be a part of.

Being in the middle of the action when it comes to fashion can be intoxicating. It’s part of the reason why Kanye is the way he is. I have also seen the reverse. When invitations to fashion shows go away and individuals who once had the juice and could get into any event in New York are not able to command that same presence as they once did it’s devastating. Instead of living off of your name that you built, unfortunately people live off of being associated with a particular brand or magazine. When that’s gone, the individual themselves are lost and searching for an identity. We lost an icon today and I just hope the fashion world uses today as a moment to reflect and a moment to really reflect on how real mental illness is.

Here’s all that matters: your respective families that you get to go home to every single day. Not the “likes” or “follows” on social media. There’s an old saying that goes be present in your present. Basically be here now and be in the moment. Life is short and we don’t know what tomorrow brings.

Today the fashion world lost one of its most notable names. May she rest endlessly in fashionable peace.

Maro Onokpise is the editor of APPARATUS

Top Image: Kate & Andy Spade PHOTO: JULIANA SOHN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL