Kate Spade has a new last name, Valentine, and a new company, Frances Valentine. But the design motivation that made her a household name has not changed.
"It has to have an emotional tug," said Kate Valentine, formerly Kate Spade, while sitting next to her partner and husband, Andy Spade, for an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday. Frances Valentine, a high-end maker of shoes and handbags, shipped its first collection to retailers in February.
Kate and Andy Spade first started Kate Spade, the company, in 1993. They grew the brand into a worldwide powerhouse, before selling a majority stake to luxury department store Neiman Marcus in 1999.
About eight years later, Kate Spade was sold to the group known then as Liz Claiborne for $125 million. Kate and Andy Spade left the company they founded shortly thereafter. Subsequently, Liz Claiborne transformed itself into the Kate Spade & Co. that trades on the New York Stock Exchange.