The first designer brand I ever bought with my own money was kate spade new york. To this day, I remember shopping at Nordstrom Old Orchard and seeing all the gorgeous ksny on merchandise display. Everything felt fresh and new. I purchased the on classic black nylon “Claire” bag with part of the money I’d earned from my summer job as a lifeguard. I felt different. Stylish. Changed.
The next week, I walked into high school and saw people turn as I walked by with my new little black bag. I wore it slung over one arm in addition to my backpack. It was an admittedly impractical combination that felt perfect at the time. Soon enough, kate spade nylon bags flooded the halls of my suburban high school. I attribute this not to my influencing abilities at the age of 16 but rather to the unstoppable force that was “kate spade” in the 1990s.
Given these special experiences, kate spade means something to me. In fact, I’ve said it before – the brand is the only reason I travel to NYFW. Truly. In fact, just this past year I gave my niece my “vintage” nylon ksny backpack for preschool. I had purchased it as my second designer bag at Nordstrom, and I gifted it to her in hopes of her carrying on the tradition. Fingers crossed!
kate spade new york spring/summer 2020
This year, kate spade decided to host their runway show in the Elizabeth Street Garden. From what I understand, the garden is woefully underfunded, and this was an effort to help support the continued development of this cherished space in the community. Learn more about this cherished neighborhood space here.
Elizabeth Street Garden was divine (and the weather was perfect). I stood next to a few ksny team members during the experience who said the location had been flooded the day before due to the rain. Thanks to their tireless clean-up, the kate spade nyfw show went off without a hitch.
Additionally, a huge takeaway from the runway show was the diversity of models – from age to race, height to weight and everything in between. In fact, one of the models was pregnant (which I love)! Diversity of all kinds should always be embraced, and I loved how their runway show was so thoughtful in this regard. Be sure to check out the full collection here.
My kate spade new york NYFW experience
I won’t lie, it was a struggle to get an invite to the spring 2020 show. Even though I’ve been multiple times, this season’s event was much different. Last year, they presented the collection twice in a row (i.e. back to back runway shows with two separate audiences). This year was a singular and smaller show. Thankfully, an invitation was offered at the eleventh hour for “standing room only” (which was 100,000% cool in my book!). As an avid shopper and fan of the brand, I always want to see what they’re going to do next, and nothing beats experiencing the full vibe of the collection as it’s presented at fashion week.
At the same time, the brand has changed a lot since Nicola Glass, the new Creative Director, has taken the helm. Her direction is distinct and clear as “glass.” She’s infused new color combos, prints, and patterns into the mix. Today’s kate spade woman has moved. She’s a bit more of a downtown gal. Not edgy per se, but more nuanced than the whimsy of yore.
With the ksny collection evolving season by season, I can’t help but see Glass’s desire to carve her legacy. She’s transitioned the brand into a more moody tone (think muted palettes, less novelty, and a more of an “it girl” vibe).
As the standing-room-only gal from the Midwest, I admit my feedback about the show is skewed. At the same time, I know this brand. I’ve lived, purchased, worn, and invested in this company.
I love ksny, and my best advice (and only insight) for them is to not completely forgo their past in an attempt to carve a future the brand never needed in the first place. I think they’re currently striking a nice balance, but I pray they don’t let go of the charm of what has made kate spade so beloved for generations.
ksny is about living colorfully, adding glitter wherever she goes, and embracing as much whimsy as possible. kate spade is all of us. I hope they never forget that.
Follow Style Charade on Bloglovin’!