Five months after the death of Kate Spade, the company she helped to start, Frances Valentine, is moving forward with its first retail venture — a Madison Avenue pop-up store.
Spade’s suicide in June at the age of 55 shocked the fashion community and the team at Frances Valentine has quietly been trying to carry on. Going into retail was always part of the business plan, according to chief executive officer Elyce Arons.
Asked how the company approaches such a delicate and complicated situation with care and without being exploitive, Arons said, “For us, it is our way of honoring Katie and keeping her spirit alive. We have a really small team in the office and it hit us all really hard. That first week, we had so many customers and friends of the brand write in — people who had known her a long, long time and people we had never met, who said please keep going — you have to keep her designs alive.”
Arons said, “We decided that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to embrace her spirit and the really good things that she brought to everyone. This has been a really happy, good thing. And it wouldn’t
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