Rachel Brosnahan is representing her late aunt Kate Spade’s brand

I’m not sure how many of you know this but The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s, Rachel Brosnahan, was designer Kate Spade’s niece. Rachel’s father was Kate’s brother. When Kate died last year, Rachel posted this lovely tribute to her:

Since selling her eponymous brand in 2006, Kate Spade had relaunched a new brand, Frances Valentine, with her best friend, Elyce Arons. Elyce, and Rachel are working together to pay tribute to Kate with a new line, Love, Katy. And one way they are doing so is by having the award-winning, white-hot -in-Hollywood Rachel be the face for the campaign. During their interview on Today, Hoda Kotb asked Rachel what she’s lost the day Kate died:

One of the closest members of our family certainly and as I said, one of the kindest and most generous people I ever had the privilege of knowing. We were so touched hearing in the wake of this unthinkable tragedy that we all experienced together, how many other people had been touched either by her personally, by her work, by her designs. It was something that really meant a lot to us and still does.

It’s clear both Elyce and Rachel are hurting, understandably as it’s only be seven months. Elyce and Hoda discuss that pang you get when you reach for the phone to call someone and remember they aren’t there to answer. That part gave me a lump in my chest. Rachel also gave an exclusive interview to People to promote Love, Katy and gave some more thoughts on why it’s important to her.

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. There is so much of her left behind and this was an opportunity for us to celebrate her life and her legacy, In the wake of Katy’s passing, my family and I were so overwhelmed and encouraged by the love and support we received from those who were touched by Katy’s work, many of whom were strangers from around the world,” she told us. “When you lose someone you love, you search for boundless ways to keep their memory alive. This felt like a way to do that through her beautiful creations and an opportunity to share them with all of those who her work meant so much to.

[From People]

In the Today segment, Hoda made the same point CB did in the site’s Kate Spade tribute: that so many of us owned her bags, we felt like we knew her. But reflecting on what Rachel told People about trying to keep the person’s spirit alive, I think this new line is perfect. Elyce said the line was “modern classic,” and it was everything people loved about Kate and everything Kate loved to design – bold colors and classic styling. I like the poetry of keeping Kate’s spirit alive by reimagining those products that made us fall in love with her in the first place. The website doesn’t have many of the photos with Rachel, but the next issue of People will. The photos are great, Rachel is wonderful in them.

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30 Responses to “Rachel Brosnahan is representing her late aunt Kate Spade’s brand”

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  1. Evil Owl says:

    I did not know about the family connection but looking at the pictures, all I can say is that the genes are strong with this one. What a lovely tribute to pay a beloved aunt.

  2. LT says:

    That’s really sweet. I was never a Kate Spade customer because the designs looked really twee on me, but I do appreciate the colors and fun styling.

    On another note, our family was touched by suicide. My partner’s ex killed herself, leaving behind their little girl. Last week, we had a check in with the therapist, who said that the stigma surrounding suicide has been so hard on my step-daughter. So on behalf of my bonus daughter and children like her who grapple with not just losing a loved one, but losing a loved one through suicide, I ask you to please keep the conversation going. Use the words, not just euphemisms. Talk about suicide the way you would about cancer. Don’t be afraid to bring it up.

    • Dragonlady sakura says:

      My condolences. My stepmother committed suicide many years ago and it left her daughters, my half sisters, emotionally scarred. They still have a hard time talking about her. I hope the family is seeking out counseling because it does help.

    • lucy2 says:

      I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. Glad to hear she is working with a therapist, I wish you all the best.

  3. Caitlinsmom says:

    Yup. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

  4. Cat1 says:

    This is just a perfect fit. The Today show piece is amazing. When you listen to Kate Spade’s voice when older, I hear a sadness in it – the depth of her voice changed greatly (hard to describe). Surprisingly there weren’t that many articles in-depth done with her. I looked when she first died. I was curious to know more about her and selling the business – first to Neimann Marcus tho’ they remained involved and then bowing out entirely. It’s hard to leave something that is such a part of you and I wonder how that impacted her, it still had her name. She said her daughter would want to tell the sales people who she was if they went into a KS store and she wouldn’t; she almost sounded embarrassed about it. She was very inspirational and Frances Valentine is another really nice line.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      I heard some people discussing Kate deepening into her depression because of selling her line to Nieman,and it really affected me ,speculation though it may have been.I never have owned her bags,almost but just never bought for some reason.After her death I’ve been browsing and come across the Kate Spade label any where from Von Mauer to TJ Maxx,and felt somehow sad and decided not to make that purchase.I will gladly buy from this new line coming out,it just feels like moving forward and honoring Kate in a beautiful way.(and of course no shade to anyone who has her older designs)Her niece looks a lot like her too,wishing them all peace.💐

      • Cat1 says:

        I can’t help wondering but I never heard anyone talk about it … Interesting that you heard discussion alluding to such. Plus apparently she and Andy got separated or were doing so … It seemed like they did everything together creating the brand but it still felt so much like her. I wonder if there was tension. Something feels a little off there too. The articles – while I get some of it is personal – only delved so far and some of the information might be ‘helpful’ to know for others, either those who care or those in a similar situation. Thanks for sharing. Also I didn’t know about Frances Valentine until she died. I don’t know what kind of reception it got, were people paying attention ? It’s a lovely line tho’ I agree. Now Kate Spade the company, it doesn’t feel the same to me either while I think they are trying to maintain the essence. Julia Garner just did an ad for them, it is sort of interesting to compare the two.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Yeah ,the way I heard about the selling of her brand to Neimam,it was an entertainment radio show that focuses on music and industry gossip and current events.In no way did anyone claim to know Kate or how she felt,but they delved into how one might feel if they sell their company for millions,and then her name is on the product,and Neiman were making billions off her name,her designs,and it was done-her *baby*so to speak,her creativity,and she wasn’t making the money or really even getting credit for it anymore.It was ALL speculation for sure,but I just thought about it a lot,and somehow didn’t want anything of hers after.I think they were trying to guess at how that situation along with ongoing depression struggles and her marriage difficulties could have all combined into Kate delving to the ends of despair,especially when you are so creative to see your name sake but know it’s not yours anymore.So my not buying the Kate Spade brand just happened because I couldn’t shake the conversation I listened to,though again they were only speculating in a very sincere way,but that conversation left me feeling something,and now I will enjoy purchasing a FValentine item because it will make me think more of Kate and her family.Just opinion on my part.

      • Cat1 says:

        Thanks for explaining that and where you heard it. What I had been thinking …

        Thanks !

  5. L84Tea says:

    I had no idea they were related. I am still so gutted over KS’s suicide.

  6. lucy2 says:

    I remember reading that they were related when Maisel first hit big. It has to be so hard for their whole family, and especially for her young daughter. I hope Rachel and the rest of the family are good support for her.
    I think this is a lovely way to keep her memory alive and honor the work she did.

  7. Scal says:

    Add into the mix that Kate Spade’s father (so Rachel’s grandfather) died the night before her funeral. That’s another emotional whammy to everyone in the family who was already dealing with so much at that point.

    I’m glad they are finding a way to honor her and carry on her legacy.

  8. Min says:

    Guys i lost my mother in July to cancer and only now it’s starting to hit me and I really don’t know what to do or how to cope. I was they youngest and closest to her. So attached it was unreal. I’ve been thinking about suicide every single day. I’m desperately it need of help. Has anyone had any experience of visits from those who killed themselves. Will I be with my mum or not?

    • Bluthfan says:

      Please reach out to loved ones here and talk to them about your feelings. And there are loads of professionals out there to help as well. I lost my dad to cancer and it is heartbreaking. But, I am sure your mom would want you to stay alive here with the rest of your family.

    • LT says:

      Min – what RebeccaS said. Reach out – there are people who have been where you are and can relate to what you are going through. For my stepdaughter, thinking about how to incorporate parts of her mom into her life has been helpful – she rememberes what they shared and thinks about how to live her life in a way that her mom would be proud of her.

      Regarding whether you’ll be with your mom again – perhaps talk with a spiritual advisor (a pastor, a rabbi, monk, etc) to talk through this?

    • Spikey says:

      Min, I am so sorry for your loss. It will get better, I promise. Please call or text the suicide hotline.

      1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) You can also text the crisis line, text “START” TO 741-741

    • Celebitchy says:

      Hi Min, please call the suicide hotline Spikey mentioned 1-800-273-8255 they can help and talk to you. That is the best advice and they can listen and help. If you don’t feel like they can help you please go to the emergency room. I’m so sorry you’re going through that.

    • ravynrobyn says:

      My mom passed away from cancer in December 2011. About a week after her funeral, I was sitting in her driveway in my car, wondering if I should go in her empty home and walk through each room to honor her and say goodbye one last time. I was really dreading it. I was holding the key to get inside, and I accidentally dropped it. That’s nothing new, I always drop stuff. The weird part was I couldn’t find it! As I got out out of the car to move the seats to see if the key was there, I heard my mom’s voice, clear as a bell, telling me that she was totally fine, she knows how much I love her, and to not go into her house. She kept repeating she was fine. I don’t think I ever found that darn key.

      Dear Min, PLEASE CALL & TALK TO SOMEONE NOW!!!! You will be with your mom when it’s the right time. As cliched as it sounds, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary (heartbreaking, gut wrenching, seemingly endless) problem. You made the brave first step by reaching out to us, please follow up with someone at the Suicide Hotline. 💚💜💛🧡💙

    • CJ says:

      Min, I know from personal experience it is difficult, heartbreaking, and every day feels like a drag through mud just to cope but I promise you there is light ahead.

      One day you will be able to look back and see how far you have come and how proud of you your mom is. She will always be with you, in the little things and in your and your family’s hearts and memories.

      Please do call the lines the other commenters have posted, even if it’s just to talk when the thoughts are overwhelming.

      I lost my mom to cancer 14 years ago, when I was only 18, and then very quickly lost every other female in my family also to cancer. I drank heavily, took drugs, neglected and abused myself and couldn’t see a future. I attempted suicide just over a year after losing my mom, when Christmas became too much.
      It’s been a long road to recovery, and I still have to practice self care, but I promise you there are experts who will help you and people who will sorely miss you.

      Please reach out, and keep those thoughts short of action. I think about my mom, grandma and Nana most days still, wear their jewellery and have a tattoo of a feather on my wrist as when I am having a bad day I always find little white feathers and I know it is my loved ones telling me I can hang on through this, as I’ve already come through so much.

      I’m telling you all this in the hope that it will give you hope too, from one person who lost a mother to another. I hope you find your peace, and I know you have the strength to keep pushing forward. Much love, and please do keep in touch. X

    • HeyThere! says:

      MIN, I am so sorry for your loss. The loss of a parent is unimaginable pain. I’m also hoping you see this because I’m just seeing your post. Call the national suicide prevention hotline number 1800-273-TALK or 1800-273-8255

      You are not alone. I’m so worried about you and I don’t even know you. I’m just a mom of two young babies and this really hit me hard.

    • LT says:

      Min – not sure if you are still reading this post – you said your mom died in July and it’s “just now” starting to hit you. You are in the middle of grief. Grief doesn’t follow a linear path – it’s not unusual AT ALL for grief to hit you after the fact. I went through some major trauma recently and it took me a full year before I felt safe enough to let my guard down to grieve. Please be gentle with yourself and get some support (non judgemental, professional support) to hold your hand as you process the loss of your mom.

  9. rebeccas says:

    Min I see you + hear you. 1-800-273-8255 is the suicide hotline + they have a chat feature too. Your mom is with you + would want you to live your life full of love + kindness. I’m sorry for your loss. xx

    • Spicecake38 says:

      Min your voice is heard by those of us reading your comment.What rebeccas said above my friend,Your mom is with you,now and forever.Please contact a spiritual adviser,and be as open and vulnerable with them as you need it is their job to listen,and they will direct you and stand beside you,but please call the suicide help numbers given above.Truly I believe your dear mom wants you to stay here,she will rejoice when she knows you are taking care of yourself and she will smile the day you smile again.💕Call ,reach out for help and don’t be ashamed.

  10. paddingtonjr says:

    Such a great way to honor her Aunt Katy! I enjoyed the video of Kate and Andy dancing. Sometimes we focus on the way someone died rather than who they were when they were living.

  11. GreenQueen says:

    I have always loved Kate Spade. I have been collecting special edition clutches of hers for awhile and I always get compliments on them. My heart goes out to Rachel, I lost my uncle to suicide when I was in college and it was heartbreaking for me and our family. Love this tribute of hers. Can’t wait to see what they release!

  12. Amelie says:

    Well I don’t think anyone really gets over a family member dying by suicide, even if it’s “only” been 7 months. I wouldn’t blame Rachel or her other family members (such as Kate’s daughter and husband though I know they were kind of on the outs when she died) if they never really got over it. There is no timeline on mourning or grief. I do remember Rachel being related to Kate and I think this is such a lovely and fun tribute to her aunt. You can tell they are related.

  13. Miss M says:

    What a beautiful way to celebrate her life and talent.
    I did not know Rachel was her niece. But I see the resemblance now.
    When I close to receive my PhD, my sister gifted me with a Kate Spade bag. I did not know she had sold it to Neiman.

    Ps: everytime I look at Rachel, I think she is Evan Rachel Wood’s sister.