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Fashion designer Kate Spade has been found dead in her New York apartment.

Police are investigating her death as an apparent suicide. The 55 year old was found dead in her Park Avenue apartment at 10:20 local time (15:20 BST) by her housekeeper, a law enforcement official said. Kate Spade was well known as a designer of clothes, shoes, and jewellery, but was best known for her accessory line. She co-founded Kate Spade Handbags in 1993 with husband Andy Spade. The company opened its first store in New York in 1996, and now has more than 300 branches worldwide.

It is recognisable for its distinctive logo which features the spades playing card symbol, in reference to the designer’s surname. The company’s bright and colourful patterned designs became a trademark of its products. Kate Spade sold her namesake brand in 2007. It was bought last year by New York rival designer Coach in a deal worth $2.4bn (£1.8bn). The couple then set up another design venture, Frances Valentine, named after their daughter.

Kate Spade was born Katherine Brosnahan in 1962

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