Actress Rachel Brosnahan has signed on as the face of tragic fashion icon Kate Spade’s Frances Valentine brand to honour her late aunt’s memory.
Creatives at the label, named after Spade’s daughter, have unveiled the new Love, Katy line in tribute to the groundbreaking designer, and her company co-founder and best friend, Elyce Arons, thought The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star would be the perfect fit for the campaign.
“When Elyce asked it just seemed like the most natural fit,” Rachel told U.S. breakfast show Today of her new role.
“I think when you lose someone you love very, very much, you spend a lot of time trying to think about how to keep their spirit alive, how they can live on through you, and that’s through memories, but also, in Katy’s case, there is so much of her left behind.”
She continued, “This was an opportunity for us to celebrate her life and her legacy and how much she meant, not only to us, but to so many other people and the impact that she’s had on the fashion industry. It was a really special experience and the collection is just beautiful.”
The Love, Katy range, which features colourful bags and floral patterns, is described as “vintage modern” and is aimed at keeping Spade’s “designs and creativity and spirit alive,” according to Arons.
Many of the pieces also reminded Rachel of her late grandmother, as it was her sense of style which provided inspiration for Spade, born Katherine Brosnahan, from the very start of her career.
“I know Katy always talked about being inspired by my grandmother, June, her mother, ripping things straight out of her closet and I feel like that spirit still lives on as well,” the Golden Globe winner shared. “So it’s really lovely to see those special pieces of our family reflected through this collection and the ones before.”
Spade committed suicide last June (18), aged 55. Her death sent shockwaves through the fashion world, and Rachel was among the first of her loved ones to pay tribute online, calling Kate “insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known”.
Reflecting on the loss seven months later, Rachel admits she and her relatives were “so touched” to hear how Spade had impacted so many people’s lives with her work in the wake of the “unthinkable tragedy”.
“It was something that really meant a lot to us and still does,” she added.
And Rachel urges anyone suffering from mental illness to seek help before it’s too late: “I know that it can be so difficult to reach up out of the darkness, but you are absolutely never, ever alone,” she said. “And please do reach out. And everyone else, reach out to the people that you love and remind them that you love them.”
Spade, who left her namesake label in 2006, co-founded Frances Valentine with Arons, husband Andy Spade, and another business partner, Paola Venturi, in 2016.
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