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Kate Spade is a fixture for nice and luxurious, but affordable hand bags.  Kate Spade started with the partnership of husband and wife team Kate and Andy Spade (brother of David Spade) in 1993.  Kate is not only the namesake of the company but has a history of working in journalism and writing about accessories since 1986 when she graduated college and worked as the fashion editor and was in charge of accessories.  However, in 1999 Andy and Kate Spade sold fifty-six percent of the company to Neiman Marcus for $33.6 million.   The sale allowed for Kate Spade bags to be bought now not only in Kate Spade stores but also in department stores which makes them more available to the general public.  While opening up a product to the public and making it more available outside of a specific brands store you also open it up to more scrutiny but also to different price points to be potentially more affordable. 

While the Kate Spade enjoys its continued success in 2004 Andy stepped down as Chief Executive to pursue consulting for brands which he had done in the past for both Pepsi and Coach.  In February 2005 Andy and Kate added to their household their own personal touch daughter Frances Beatrix Spade.

Over the past several months in 2008-09 the economy has experienced setbacks, while luxury brands are still going strong and pursuing new designs and lines we question how it is affecting them in the long run.  The luxury brand purchasers that were buying from the beginning are still being loyal to their brands, but some of the customers that were picked up along the way that may have been curious when they noticed the brand in a retail environment may have gone off to other more affordable purchases.  Till the economy gets an overhaul I think there will be a trend that follows this same picture of the regulars purchasing and a few others that are looking for that good quality handbag that will last them throughout at least one season.  Does looking at the history of Kate Spade answer the question of whether or not they are recession proof?  Yes, and I think unfortunately the history of Kate and Andy the co-founders leaving Kate Spade has made a huge impact I do feel that even if some may consider them sell outs they quality of the hand bags speak for themselves.  If the materials and craftsman ship stay the same then the loyalty to the brand will remain.

 Sites and References:
www.katespade.com
http://www.thecoolhunter.net/profiles/THE-KATE-SPADE-COMPANY/

 

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