Culture

Rachel Brosnahan to Honor Aunt, Kate Spade, as Face of Late Designer's Label, Frances Valentine

Rachel Brosnahan's newest project is something she holds dear to her heart. The award-winning actress will serve as the face of designer label Frances Valentine, which was created by her late aunt, Kate Spade.

Spade, legally Katherine Noel Brosnahan, was found dead at her New York City apartment in June 2018. A medical examiner ruled her death as suicide by hanging. Spade, who was 55, was survived by her husband Andy Spade and 13-year-old daughter Frances. 

Frances Valentine, founded in 2016, was "born of Kate’s irrepressibly joyous creative nature, and her desire to make, and keep making things, for the pure pleasure of doing it," according to the brand's website. It was named after her teenage daughter. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star, who's an avid fan of her aunt's second label, will appear in the brand's spring campaign. 

"In the wake of Katy's passing, my family and I were so overwhelmed and encouraged by the love and support we received from those who were touched by Katy's work, many of whom were strangers from around the world," Brosnahan, 28, explained to People in an upcoming issue.

"When you lose someone you love, you search for boundless ways to keep their memory alive," she continued, "This felt like a way to do that through her beautiful creations and an opportunity to share them with all of those who her work meant so much to."

Spade is no stranger to involving her family in her business ventures. She co-founded her namesake brand with her husband in 1993. After selling their stake in the successful brand in 2006, the then-married pair teamed up with Spade's college friend Elyce Arons to launch Frances Valentine. Arons now serves as Frances Valentine's CEO.

With Spade's connection to family in mind, Brosnahan proved to be the right choice to star in the label's spring campaign. "She's always been very close to Katy, and she's been a part of the company since the beginning. She said yes to the idea, and here we are," Arons to People of Brosnahan.

Brosnahan paid tribute to her late aunt following her death with a video post published to Instagram. It showed Spade dancing with her husband to a Mariachi band. The actress suggested this was "how she would want to be remembered."

"She had a light that words can’t capture but touched everyone she came into contact with," Brosnahan wrote. "She was exceedingly kind, beautifully sensitive, insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known."

Rachel Brosnahan Face of Kate Spade's Frances Valentine Rachel Brosnahan was named as the face of late aunt Kate Spade's brand, Frances Valentine. Here, Brosnahan is pictured attending the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Turner

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