You’ve probably heard the news by now. Kate Spade, 55, was found dead in her apartment on Tuesday morning. Her staff arrived to check on the designer and discovered her body after what appears to be a suicide. A note was found in the apartment, but details haven’t yet been disclosed because the police investigation is ongoing.
What we do know is that her death is eerily similar to that of 2 other high-profile fashion designers in the last decade. Spade, L’Wren Scott, and Alexander McQueen all cut their lives tragically short, leaving their family and fans alike with questions that will never be answered. Let’s take a moment to honor their lives and work.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness or thoughts of suicide, please reach out for help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day: 1-800-273-8255
22. Alexander McQueen
Alexander McQueen, 40, hanged himself in the wardrobe of his London home in February 2010, just 9 days after the death of his mother. He had written several distraught messages on Twitter during the days before his suicide.
21. Fashion Bad Boy
Called “the hooligan of English fashion,” McQueen got his start on London’s prestigious Savile Row, which caters to the rich and royal—including Prince Charles.
20. Anarchy in the UK
Rumor has it that McQueen once embroidered a suit for Prince Charles with curse words embroidered into the lining. You can’t help but wonder what he wrote—and admire the nerve it would take to do something like that.
19. A Rare Talent
British Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman considered him a genius and claimed “his brilliant imagination knew no bounds.” His devoted fans included models like Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell.
18. Incredible Haute Couture
McQueen was the chief designer for Givenchy from 1996-2001, and launched his own label that pushed the boundaries of fashion. He was best known for his VOSS collection, that stunned audiences when it appeared on the runway.
17. A Sad Farewell
His memorial was attended by stars and friends such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Naomi Campbell, Stella McCartney, Lady Gaga, and Anna Wintour. He was buried on the Isle of Skye off the coast of Scotland.
16. An Enduring Legacy
The McQueen label continued under the direction of Sarah Burton, who designed Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. McQueen has remained a favorite label of the Duchess of Cambridge.
15. L’Wren Scott
Just 4 years after Alexander McQueen, L’Wren Scott, 49, was found dead in her apartment in New York. She too chose to end her life by hanging, and her body was found with a silk scarf secured to a doorknob.
14. From Model to Designer
Scott, a former model and 6’4” beauty, started as a stylist for Madonna and Julia Roberts, among others, and eventually a costume designer for several films and performances.
13. Rock ‘n’ Roll Royalty
She also designed Mick Jagger’s costumes for the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary tour—which makes sense given that Scott and Jagger had been dating for more than a decade.
12. Old-World Glamour
Scott’s fashion designs were often hyper-feminine, vintage-inspired, and more consumer friendly than other haute couture brands.
11. A Struggling Company
Scott collaborated with Banana Republic for a line of affordable ready-to-wear fashion and accessories. Despite this—and despite her personal fortune—her fashion line was millions of dollars in debt when she died.