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Mindy Kaling pays tribute to Kate Spade: “Depression can affect anybody”

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Moya Crockett
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The actor, who often wore Spade’s designs on The Mindy Project, says she “brought fashion to people who could not necessarily afford haute couture”.

Since the news of Kate Spade’s suicide was announced on 5 June, many high-profile figures in the fashion and entertainment industries have spoken out about their affection for the designer and their sorrow at her premature death.

Mindy Kaling, whose character on The Mindy Project regularly wore Spade’s bright, kitsch designs, articulated what many were feeling at the recent New York premiere for Ocean’s 8.

“I love fashion, as you know, but one of the things that was amazing about Kate Spade is that she brought fashion to people who could not necessarily afford haute couture,” Kaling told Variety.

“[But] they could buy Kate Spade and they could feel really special and like they were part of the fashion world, and they were.”

Kaling continued: “I wore her clothes so much for The Mindy Project and in my life, and her clothes always were so sparkly and twinkly and represented this really specific kind of wish fulfilment of New York City life.”

Mental health issues don’t discriminate, Kaling observed. “It’s so tragic, and it’s yet another reminder that depression can affect anybody.

“It doesn’t matter the socioeconomic circumstances or success. It’s really sad.”

Kate and Andy Spade in April 2017 

Shortly after Spade’s death, her husband Andy released a statement confirming that she had “suffered from depression and anxiety for many years”, but said he and their daughter had been “in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this.”

Andy Spade also criticised the media coverage of his wife’s death, which has frequently been ghoulishly intrusive and explicit – particularly in the US, where there are fewer restrictions and guidelines on how the media should report suicides. (In the UK, print and digital news outlets are required to adhere to the IPSO code of practice, which stipulates that publications should not include excessive detail about suicide methods, and suicide prevention charities like Samaritans also have media guidelines on how to report celebrity deaths.)

However, many American outlets have – dangerously and recklessly – published graphic details about Spade’s death, including the contents of a letter she allegedly left to her daughter.

“I have yet to see any note left behind and am appalled that a private message to my daughter has been so heartlessly shared with the media,” said Andy Spade.

“Kate was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the kindest person I’ve ever known and my best friend for 35 years. My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her.”

If you are feeling depressed or suicidal, please call the Samaritans anytime, for free, from any phone, on 116 123.

If you have been affected by this article, you can contact the following organisations for support:

mind.org.uk

nhs.uk/livewell/mentalhealth

mentalhealth.org.uk

https://www.samaritans.org/

Images: Getty Images 

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Moya Crockett

Moya is Women's Editor at stylist.co.uk, where she is currently overseeing the Visible Women campaign. Carrying a tiny bottle of hot sauce on her person at all times is one of the many traits she shares with both Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.

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