How Kate Spade Inspired My Style

This blog contains the word “fastinista” for a reason. I love love love fashion and brands and designers and even though this blog focuses a lot on running and working out, I want to make sure I still talk about my other passion. With recent events in the news, I feel called upon again to write more.

“Fastinista” is supposed to be a play on the words “fast” and “fashionista.” I may not always feel so fashionable in my “mom uniform” leggings and tank tops, but I still try to keep up with fashion as much as I can.

Let’s rewind back to my high school years when I would flip through magazines and learn about the latest fads. I collected magazine after magazine that I refused to throw away. Allure, Elle and Glamour were always at arm’s reach.

I first learned about Kate Spade bags from a good high school friend. It was a right of passage; it seemed like all the fashionable girls carried a Kate Spade bag to school. I borrowed my friend’s plain, black bag for a party to “test it out” and eventually saved up enough to purchase my own ivory and brown plaid “Sam” purse.

Photo from Tradesy

Shortly after, my mom gifted me the same black one that my friend had and I was beyond thrilled. Although they were certainly not cheap, at around $200 or just under, they were much more affordable than European brands that at the time I simply couldn’t afford.

Years later, while living in Atlanta, I began working as assistant manager at one of her stores. I remember telling the hiring manager the story of my first Kate Spade bag. It was a job I really, really enjoyed. Working in retail management in the South where customers were usually sweet and gracious was a far cry from my retail experience in north Jersey.

I unknowingly became a Kate loyalist. Always classic, with fun color combinations, her accessories have always been just girly enough to complete an outfit.

As my budget increased, my shoe and purse collection grew larger with other designers and brands. But a few things were still simply Kate: my agenda and my diaper bag, a summer clutch, shoes, and more handbags.

Kate built a brand that inspired so many. She was an amazing businesswoman. Such a tragedy that her life had to end the way it did. I truly hope her husband, daughter and the rest of her family and close friend find peace in their hearts to carry on.

Before I had the chance to publish this post, I found out about the tragic death of another icon: Anthony Bourdain.

With the outpouring of grief I saw on social media, I can tell I’m not alone in feeling like I knew him. When Frank and I traveled to San Francisco together for the first time in 2012, we followed some of his recommendations and visited some of the bars he had featured on one of his shows. He was an excellent writer and true adventurer. He even visited Paraguay where his great, great, great grandfather was rumored to have lived and been buried.

Anthony was mostly known for his food and travel, but his cool, laid-back style and silver fox appeal made him a very stylish guy in my opinion.

I leave you with a quote by him:

“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch. Move.”

Kate and Anthony may have been different in a lot of ways, but I would say they both inspired their fans to have adventures and live life colorfully…May they Rest In Peace.

Julia

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