Kate Spade: by Joanne Martinez

Getty Images

Getty Images


Dear Recess Readers,

Last month we lost a wonderful and important designer: Kate Spade.
I feel it necessary for me to express what she meant to me. She was a rainbow. She somehow found a way to incorporate a beautiful world and lifestyle to clothes, bags, shoes, and other household items. She made magic. Her designs were whimsical, festive, and playful. When I was teenager I would cut out her ads from magazines because I wanted to live in her world. I still do. Her world was like a modern Norman Rockwell painting. It included couples reading to each other, mothers tying their son’s shoelaces on Halloween, Christmas parties, New Years Parties, all the parties, women overdressed while reading in a library, women making payphone calls (remember those?), walking a camel in New York city streets, riding bikes in rainbow dresses, I swear I can go on forever. But, damn, doesn't that sound lovely? A modern Pleasantville. And perhaps her world may be PG, it does reflect a sense of goodness and innocence and I think in this day and age, we could certainly use both.

The day Kate died, I felt crazy with stirred emotions. I went into a frenzy. I ran around my apartment and grabbed everything Kate Spade I had and put it into a pile in my room. I seriously don't know why I did it. Perhaps I needed to make her palpable to me in some way. The pile was pretty big which is crazy because I can still recall being in my early twenties unable to afford any item from her. But there it was, a pile of all Kate Spade items that ranged from novelty hand bags, to champagne coupes to jewelry and I kid you not, it was a rainbow...A rainbow! So I lined them up in Roy G. Biv and no color was left behind. And it kills me because how can someone who put so much color into my and other people’s lives feel so in the dark. The day Kate Spade died...broke my heart. And now, a little more than a month later, I am still pretty upset wishing I could have done something to prevent this. Kate Spade was the first designer I ever liked. I didn’t really think too much about clothes until I discovered her. Which if you knew me, you would think that there was NEVER a time where I didn’t care about clothes. Her brand is the reason I express myself through clothes. She is the reason my favorite part of the day is picking out an outfit. The reason why I live to celebrate life. Why I have celebratory tattoos such as a bottle of champagne and fireworks. And most importantly, why I eat cake for breakfast. Funfetti, of course. Because life is too short already and everything should be celebrated, even people.

Kate is no longer with us, but her rainbow remains. And you know what, I’m going to celebrate that. I hope that you do too.


With Love,
Joanne Martinez

If you or someone you know needs to speak with a Crisis Counselor, text 741741 in the US and 686868 in Canada or message @crisistextline on Facebook to chat. www.crisistextline.org

Photo by  @tired.mija

Photo by @tired.mija


Joanne Martinez grew up in East Los Angeles working in her parent's video store. She attended UC Santa Cruz and studied Film Production. She is currently working on a portfolio to do Art Direction.


Marisol de Jesus