Kate Spade. Photo by Getty Images.

American designer Kate Spade, known for her colorful, feminine line of clothing and accessories, was found dead in her apartment on Tuesday morning. According to police, a housekeeper found Spade, 55-years-old, hanging from a scarf in her bedroom.

Spade and her husband, Andy, founded Kate Spade in 1993, one year before they married. The two met while working at a clothing store together. They have one daughter, Frances Beatrix. “We are all devastated by today’s tragedy,” the family said in a statement. “We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly. We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.”

Kate Spade in 2004. Photo by Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press

Before venturing into design, Spade worked in the accessories department of fashion magazine Mademoiselle. She left in 1991, after working her way up to senior fashion editor/head of accessories. Kate Spade the brand shot to success shortly after its founding—its first store opened in SoHo in 1996. In 2006, the Spades sold the last of their stakes in the company to focus on other projects including philanthropy and a new accessories label called Frances Valentine.

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