Kate Spade's sister says she was not surprised by designer's suicide

Designer Kate Spade, who struggled with depression and alcoholism later in life, fixated on comedian Robin Williams suicide by hanging and that may have served as her inspiration, her sister said.

Rato Saffo wrote in an email to the Daily News that the designer’s suicide was a long time coming.

She said that she was with Spade in a Santa Fe, N.M., hotel room when the news broke in August 2014 that the funnyman took his own life.

"We were freaked out/saddened," Saffo wrote, "but she kept watching it and watching it over and over. I think the plan was already in motion even as far back as then."

Saffo said that she urged Spade to seek mental health treatment.

“I will say this was not unexpected by me. I’d flown out to Napa and NYC several times in the past three-four years to help her to get the treatment she needed (inpatient hospitalization),” the sister said.

Saffo wrote that her sister changed after her fashion brand took off.

“She was always a very excitable little girl and I felt all the stress/pressure of her brand (KS) may have flipped the switch where she eventually became full-on manic depressive,” according to Saffo’s email.

Saffo wrote that she had even gone as far as set an appointment for her to get help and even offered to join at a psychiatric facility.

“She was all set to go — but then chickened out by morning. I even said I (would) go with her and be a ‘patient’ too (she liked that idea) I said we could talk about it all — our childhood, etc. That I could help her fill in any blanks she might have.”

It was her brand that kept her from going.

"We'd get sooo close to packing her bags, but — in the end, the 'image' of her brand (happy-go-lucky Kate Spade) was more important for her to keep up. She was definitely worried about what people would say if they found out," Saffo claims.

Spade, 55, was found by her housekeeper, hanged in her Park Ave. apartment at 10:10 a.m. on Tuesday, police said.

A note left by Spade, in addition to absolving her daughter of responsibility, instructed the 13-year-old to seek answers from her father. Her husband, Andy, is the brother of comedian David Spade.

Spade was a 30-year-old former magazine editor in 1993 when she launched a line of sleek handbags that grew into a $2.4 billion global empire.

The sister, who grew up with Spade in Kansas City, MO., said she wasn’t able to reach Spade and eventually gave up.

"After numerous attempts, I finally let go," Saffo wrote. "Sometimes you simply cannot SAVE people from themselves! One of the last things she said to me was, 'Reta, I know you hate funerals and don't attend them, but for me would you PLEASE come to MINE, at least. Please!' I know she perhaps had a plan, but she insisted she did not."

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