Kate Spade's Best Friend on Late Designer: "We Miss Her Every Day"
"We talked every day, and most of the time she was very happy. But I don't know if anyone can understand the depths of depression of another person," Elyce Arons said about her longtime companion and business partner, who committed suicide in June.
Elyce Arons, longtime business partner and best friend of Kate Spade, visited Good Morning America on Thursday to discuss the fashion designer and her death.
The interview began with Arons and correspondent Paula Faris admiring photos of Spade, whom Arons always called Katy. "She always made sure everyone knew that," Arons said about the spelling of Spade's name. "I have a really hard time calling her Kate because that came about through the business, but I had known her for so much longer than that."
The two met while attending the University of Kansas. Arons, Spade and Andy Spade worked together to create the designer's last company, called Frances Valentine, which launched in 2016.
Spade, who took her own life in June, had been silently battling depression. "It was tough because she didn't always say it. You know, she'd be sad and then one minute later she'd make a joke," Arons recalled. "We talked every day, and most of the time she was very happy. But I don't know if anyone can understand the depths of depression of another person."
Arons added that if she could ask Spade one question, it would be why she chose to commit suicide. "I have thought and thought and thought about it, but I think it was probably one moment of despair … of deep sadness that she felt while she was alone," she said. "I can't answer what that was."
"Katy had this need to create, and this was it," Arons said of their Frances Valentine venture, which continues to sell bags and accessories.
Following Spade's death, Arons revealed that many people have reached out to share how the late designer has impacted their lives. "We've had a lot of people write in and talk about how she had changed their lives," she said. Arons added that many notes have encouraged the company to keep her designs and spirit alive. "That's what we're gonna do."
"We miss her every day," Arons said about going to work without Spade. "Her spirit's here."
Faris concluded the interview by asking Arons what she thinks Spade would tell her right now. "Take a vacation, probably," she said. "I think she would be thrilled. I think she would be really happy — to continue to make other people happy."
As a friend, Arons believes Spade would tell her that she's doing OK. "She'd say, 'I'm OK. Don't worry about me,'" concluded Arons.
Watch the full interview below.