Rachel Brosnahan • Kate Spade • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2/40)

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Will they win big tonight? ? _ Rachel Brosnahan and Rami Malek, who are both nominated for multiple awards tonight, are seen on the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards carpet in Los Angeles. | January 27, 2019 | ?: @dimitrioskphoto | #GettyEntertainment for Turner

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January 30, 2019 08:12 AM

Rachel Brosnahan’s new fashion project is a meaningful one.

The award-winning star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the new face of the spring campaign for Frances Valentine, the label Kate Spade founded in 2016. Not only is the actress, 28, one of the brand’s most loyal supporters, she’s also the niece of the late designer, who tragically died by suicide at the age of 55 in June 2018.

“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,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue. “When you lose someone you love, you search for boundless ways to keep their memory alive. 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.”

Maggie Cepis for Frances Valentine

The label has always had family at the heart of it — Kate founded Frances Valentine with her husband of 24 years, Andy, 56, as well as Elyce Arons, who was her best friend since they were college freshmen. The designer also named it after her daughter, Frances Beatrix (“Bea”), 13. (The Spades and Arons launched the line a decade after Kate left her namesake empire, which they helped build together.)


Rachel Brosnahan stars in the spring 2019 campaign for Frances Valentine, the label her late aunt Kate Spade founded. Shown holding the Mini Midge Bag ($198; francesvalentine.com).
Rachel Brosnahan stars in the spring 2019 campaign for Frances Valentine, the label her late aunt Kate Spade founded. Shown holding the Mini Midge Bag ($198; francesvalentine.com).
Maggie Cepis for Frances Valentine

Therefore, when it came time to casting the campaign for spring, turning to Kate’s niece was an obvious choice. “She’s always been very close to Katy, and she’s been a part of the company since the beginning,” Arons, now the CEO of Frances Valentine, says of Brosnahan. “She said yes to the idea, and here we are!”

The campaign itself is a tribute to the late designer’s signature colorful aesthetic and vision of spreading joy through vibrant fashion designs that feature whimsical touches. And many details of the shoot incorporated things the designer loved.

The photographs were shot in one of Kate’s favorite places, her Frances Valentine New York showroom overlooking Bryant Park. “It has really high ceilings, and all of Katy and Andy’s art is up everywhere,” says Arons. “It’s such a beautiful space to be in.”

Plus, a playlist that Kate, Andy and Arons put together for the showroom featuring Kate’s favorites songs by John Lennon, Joni Mitchell and the Rolling Stones played in the background. “I couldn’t keep a smile off my face, it was such a fun day,” says Arons.

Then, the photos themselves, taken by Frances Valentine art director Maggie Cepis, are reminiscent of Kate’s signature look. With an undone bun, stacks of beautiful baubles, colorful bags in her hand and in a vintage-inspired ensemble, Brosnahan is a mirror-image of her aunt.

“I think it’s more meaningful than any other campaign we’ve done because it’s [Rachel], and she was so close to Katy,” says Arons. “I know it would really make Katy smile.”

The products Brosnahan wears are also significant, as many pieces in Frances Valentine’s spring line are inspired by Kate’s personal wardrobe and named after those closest to her.

For example, in one of the campaign shots, the actress holds a square yellow satchel named the “Midge.” Arons shared that Kate actually named it after her niece’s beloved character on Maisel after the first season was released in 2017, before Kate’s death. It now comes in a variety of colors, from light blue to pink. “Katy loved color,” says Arons. “She was not afraid of it.” For this bag, however, Arons thinks she would have picked green. (The “Midge” and the rest of the pieces Brosnahan wears in the campaign are all available now on francesvalentine.com.)

Rachel Brosnahan at the 2019 SAG Awards on Jan. 27.
Rachel Brosnahan at the 2019 SAG Awards on Jan. 27.

The actress, meanwhile, is happy to help keep her aunt’s legacy alive and be a part of the future of her label Frances Valentine. Last night, she even hosted an event at the brand’s Madison Avenue pop-up shop to raise money for a cause close to her heart, the Covenant House, which helps homeless youth.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273- TALK (8255), text “HOME” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

Rachel Brosnahan Is Now the Face of Her Late Aunt Kate Spade’s Collection

Kate Spade and Rachel Brosnahan

Walter McBride/Getty Images

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.”

“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.”

Watch the video below for more on how Brosnahan dealt with the death of her beloved aunt.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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Written by top40

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