Fashion brand Kate Spade is making changes to some of its product designs as well as to its brand identity nearly a year after the death of its namesake founder.
First, its original spade-shaped logo has been updated. It is now bisected; sometimes used as functional hardware—like an enameled purse clasp—on some products; and shown larger and often in place of the “Kate Spade” wordmark. The mark will be utilized in new colors as well.
Second, the company’s very recognizable green brand color, previously used on product tags, signage, and other branding components, has been changed to “pink kiss.” Green is still part of the plan, however: what the company calls “clover green” will be used on wrapping paper.
The choice of “clover” as a descriptor is interesting, as it builds toward an unusual hand of cards: spade, heart (the spade shown upside-down as happens when a purse clasps is turned or the space is viewed wrong-side up in any application), and now clover or club. The draw may be inadvertent, but at this point, the only suit missing is diamond, something not at all alien to a fashion brand. (Actually, a diamond shape does appear in the refreshed brand’s patterning, which is built from spade, heart, and club/clover shapes. The diamond is formed by the bottom of two spades set together, tail to tail.)
Another interesting and probably coincidental connection to card suits—or at least the increased use of the heart shape—is pointed out in a January 30, 2019, article in Vanity Fair: “The Spades founded [the fashion brand] Frances Valentine in 2015, nearly a decade after she left her eponymous label. Her friend of several decades Elyce Arons was an integral part of the business, and Arons is now the C.E.O. of the brand. The designer also gave the new brand a familial touch: Valentine was her maternal grandfather’s middle name, per an article in Business of Fashion, and Frances is her daughter’s first name, though the 13-year-old goes by her middle name, Beatrix or Bea. Spade was so committed to the new brand that she legally changed her last name to Valentine.”
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