Rachel Brosnahan is honoring Kate Spade in a special way.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star — alongside Spade’s longtime best friend, Elyce Arons — stopped by Today on Wednesday and revealed that the 28-year-old actress is the new face of her late aunt’s company, Frances Valentine, which Spade co-created with Arons. The new line, called “Love, Katy,” is a tribute to her aunt’s memory, style and creative vision. The announcement comes seven months after Spade committed suicide in June 2018 at age 55.
“When Elyce asked it just seemed like the most natural fit,” Brosnahan said of becoming the face of the line. “You know, I think when you lose someone you love very, very much you spend a lot of time trying to think about how to keep their spirit alive, how they can live on through you. And that’s through memories, but also, in Katy’s case, there is so much of her left behind.”
“This was an opportunity for us to celebrate her life and her legacy and how much she meant, not only to us, but to so many other people and the impact she’s had on the fashion industry,” she continued. “It was a really special experience and the collection is just beautiful.”
The line, Arons revealed, is “vintage modern” and meant to keep Spade’s “designs and creativity and spirit alive.”
“They’re really classic,” Arons said of the bags. “They’re something you could wear 10 years ago or 10 years from now and still pull that piece out of your closet and say, ‘Oh my god, I love that piece. I love it!'”
“Frances Valentine was Katy and Elyce’s latest endeavor and the bags are just stunning and colorful and have beautiful shapes,” Brosnahan added. “I know Katy always talked about being inspired by my grandmother, June, her mother, ripping things straight out of her closet and I feel like that spirit still lives on as well. So it’s really lovely to see those special pieces of our family reflected through this collection and the ones before.”
It was important for Brosnahan to be involved in the line because, with Spade’s death, she lost both “one of the closest members of our family… and one of the kindest and most generous people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.”
“We were so touched, I think, hearing in the wake of this unthinkable tragedy that we all experienced together, how many other people had been touched either by her personally, by her work, by her designs,” Brosnahan said. “It was something that really meant a lot to us and still does.”
The actress also took the opportunity to reach out to anyone who may be having a tough time and let them know that they’re not alone.
“Life is hard. There are so many of us who have experienced the high highs and the low lows that life can contain and I know that it can be so difficult to reach up out of the darkness, but you are absolutely never, ever alone,” she said. “And please reach out. And everyone else, reach out to the people you love and remind them that you love them.”