Is Kate Spade Cool Again?

kate spade new york

There was a time when anyone who was anyone had a Kate Spade bag.

Kate Spade was the official “it brand” of the late 90s/early aughts — everyone from Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen to Gwyneth Paltrow carried one on their arm. It was the ultimate status symbol.

But since Kate (who died of suicide in 2018) and husband Andy Spade sold the brand in 2006, Kate Spade New York’s cachet has seriously taken a nose dive. Newer brands have taken its place while Kate Spade has lagged behind, becoming a relic of the past.

kate spade new york bags

But lately, the brand seems to making a huge PR push to get back in the game. All of the sudden, there are piles of articles on E! News and People promoting the brand left and right. Websites are pushing the brand hard on their readers, whether it’s to announce sales or new collections.

Celebrities are also (slowly) starting to carry the brand again. In 2023, Selena Gomez, Nicola Coughlan, Katie Holmes, and Rachel Zegler were all spotted rocking Kate Spade bags once or twice (Rachel seems particularly fond of the brand and has carried Kate Spade bags a few times now).

rachel zegler outfits 2023
credit: @sarahslutsky/Instagram

That said, the brand is still far from making a full comeback. Brands like Aupen, JW Pei, and Jacquemus have become the “cool” bags to carry, with new brands popping up every day. And mainstays like Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton have retained their status in certain social circles (although these brands can easily be seen as tacky if carried on the wrong arms).

If Kate Spade were to ever fully recover, now would be the time to do it. Gen Z has decided to revive early aughts fashion trends (God knows why), bringing brands like Juicy Couture back from the dead. So if there were ever a moment for Kate Spade to regain its place in the fashion hierarchy, now would be the time to do it.

But they better hurry. Thanks to platforms like Instagram and TikTok, trends and brands come and go faster than you can hit “post”. Miss the moment and they’ll have to wait around until the next time the early aughts are in vogue (which hopefully won’t be for a very, very long time).


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.