Andrew Spade is a fashion designer who co-founded Kate Spade and Jack Spade. Born in Birmingham, Michigan, he attended Arizona State University, where he met fellow future-fashion designer Katherine Brosnahan. Together, they launched the handbag design company Kate Spade in 1993. The couple married the next year. They created the design company Jack Spade in 1996 to fill the perceived market void for stylish and practical men's accessories, and the company officially launched in 1999. In February of 2009, Andy openend a new store on Great Jones Street, in Manhattan, called Partners & Spade. He resides in New York City.
Question: Is fashion art?
Andrew Spade: I think they’re . . . I think they’re very closely tied together. An art dealer named Jeffrey Deitch told me recently that – this is 10 years ago – that fashion had taken a lead on art. It’s what’s going on culturally and what’s more relevant. Now the art market, I believe, has come back. And I think the art market is in the forefront of what’s going on culturally. But if you go back 10 years and you look at what was going on in the art world and fashion, really fashion was leading. That’s why Jeffrey started representing people like ________ and other designers, and the Citizens Band, and bringing people in. His idea was to find what’s going on in culture that’s really changing culture right now. What’s in . . . what’s . . . where are people looking to find out where the newness is and what’s really moving culture? And it can come from art, obviously from fashion. Because this is . . . these communities are where the ideas are coming from. And he was also looking at music. And I think if you look at this . . . and architecture as well. Architecture more so than ever, you know, has a role in the changing of who we are. It always has. But sometimes they’re the stars of the decade. And all these things intertwine. And there are different people. But you go up to the clubs downtown and you’ll see there will be writers and artists. If you go back to the ‘60s, the writers . . . I mean they were really influential at the time – I think as much or more so than the artists. I mean there are things going on then that maybe aren’t going on now; but they all relate. And I think it’s all people just trying to be more expressive, and trying to be expressive in a way that they feel the times are . . . are giving them.
Recorded on: 7/12/07