Who Is Kate Spade's Sister? New Details On Reta Brosnahan Saffo

"I will say this was not unexpected by me," Saffo said of her sister's suicide.

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Who is Kate Spade's sister? Legendary designer Kate Spade has been in the fashion industry for years and made a name for herself in 80s working for magazines like Madmoiselle in Manhattan. Her handbags became widely popular in the fashion industry in the 1990s and her company Kate Spade New York had over 140 retails shops across the country and 175 internationally.

Early Tuesday morning Spade was found hanging at her 850 Park Avenue home by her housekeeper.  She hung herself with a red scarf from a doorknob earlier in the morning. When police arrived she was announced dead at the scene at 10:26 am.


Spade's family came out with a statement saying "We are all devastated...we loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly." 

RELATED: How Did Kate Spade Die? New Devastating Details About The Tragic Death Of The Iconic Designer

Spade's sister Reta Brosnahan Saffo has been in the press recently talking about the tragic loss and her sister's history with depression and mental illness. Here is what we know about her so far:

1. Saffo said she saw Kate's suicide coming.

"It finally took its toll on her. A very tragic and sad ending to the life of a very colorful and delightful being. I will say this was not unexpected by me,” Saffo wrote in emails to the Kansas City Star.


2. She says her sister may have gotten the idea years ago.

Saffo talked about how in 2014 when Robin Williams committed suicide Kate seemed more than interested in his death than the average person. "She kept watching it and watching it over and over. I think the plan was already in motion even as far back as then,” Saffo said. “One of the last things she said to me was, ‘Reta, I know you hate funerals and don’t attend them, but for me would you please come to mine.’ I know she perhaps had a plan, but she insisted she did not."

3. Saffo hints her sister was bipolar.

“She was always a very excitable little girl and I felt all the stress/pressure of her brand (KS) may have flipped the switch where she eventually became full-on manic depressive.” 


4. Saffo says she tried to get her sister help. 

"I’d come so VERY close to getting her to go in for treatment to the same place Catherine Zeta-Jones went for her successful bipolar treatment program). I’d spoken with them on the phone (not telling them exactly who the patient would be. They agreed to fly in and talk with her and take her with them to the treatment center,” Saffo wrote.

"She was all set to go — but then chickened out by morning. I even said I would go with her and be a ‘patient’ too (she liked that idea). That seemed to make her more comfortable, and we’d get sooo close to packing her bags, but in the end, the ‘image’ of her brand (happy-go-lucky Kate Spade) was more important for her to keep up. She was definitely worried about what people would say if they found out.”

RELATED: Who Is Kate Spade's Husband? New Details About The Designer's Life & Marriage To Andy Spade

5. Other family members claim Saffo was estranged from Kate.

Saffo has been estranged from her family for the past seven or eight years, according to a source. But Brosnahan Saffo, however, reportedly told her local paper The Kansas City Star via email that she and Spade spoke on the phone for “6 to 7 hours” on end prior to Spade’s death.


6. Kate's family is not happy with the comments made by Saffo.

 "The family is disgusted and saddened that at this time of great sorrow, Kate’s sister who has been estranged from the entire family for more than 10 years would choose to surface with unsubstantiated comments,” the source said to People. “Her statements paint a picture of someone who didn’t know her at all.”

7. Saffo says she will miss her sister. 

"She was a dear little person. So dear — so kind, so funny. I’ll miss our 6-7-hr-long phone conversations between NY and NM,” Saffo wrote.


RELATED: Who Is Kate Spade's Daughter? New Details About Frances Beatrix Spade

Molly Given is a writer living in Philadelphia and lover of all things to do with mystery and magic in life. When she’s not writing her fingers off she can be found planning her next adventure in a new part of the world.