Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade Dead in Apparent Suicides, What’s Going On?

A little over three weeks ago, I sat in my living room, grabbed the remote control and flipped through channels till I saw Anthony Bourdain’s popular show, ‘Parts Unknown.’ As I watched the particular episode, something struck me as odd. I found myself more focused on Boudain than his guests and the food narrative he was giving. His appearance seemed quite unkempt, he seemed like he was just going through the motions and not present. I found myself thinking something was off and then reflecting, through my experience as an entertainment industry insider, on the challenges of producing a show, especially an international food travel show. I thought about all of the diverse countries Boudain had visited, the diverse meals he ate and wondered the kinds of drawbacks he had to deal with, away from the lenses of the camera. 

Today, like many globally, I wake up to the news that Anthony Boudain is dead at 61, and was found in his Paris hotel room in what has been ruled an apparent suicide. What’s going on?

Earlier this week, I was returning from my travel abroad and was at a customs border abroad. At the border, there was a long line for non-EU travelers and while waiting in line, I spotted a beautiful black Kate Spade bag carried by a Chinese citizen who was also waiting in line. When I saw the bag, my heart felt so full. I thought about the rigors and challenges fashion entrepreneurs face, and the fact that this American designer could build a business and scale it to the point where her products were distributed globally, and a Chinese citizen was proudly rocking the American owned brand in Europe at a customs border. I felt so proud. Upon returning to the states, the exact date I return, the first news that greets me was that Kate Spade had died, at 55, in an apparent suicide. What’s going on?

Two extremely talented people who poured so much joy into our lives based on their creativity are gone. And while we obviously mourn and send our prayers and condolences to their family and other loved ones, it is an opportunity to begin a dialogue, especially in the fashion and food industries, on mental health issues, to prevent yet another set of shocking deaths.

May their souls rest in peace.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal feelings, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or contact them at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

-Ms. Uduak

Photo credit: Getty Images

Throwback Interviews
Marc talks with Anthony Bourdain about food, drugs, truth and travel. What’s the most soulful food Anthony’s ever eaten? Why did smoking crack lead to an obsession with surveillance material? How are cooking and stand-up comedy alike? What countries does Anthony refuse to visit?

After walking away from her namesake brand in 2007, Kate Spade returned to fashion last spring with a new accessories label, “Frances Valentine.” Kate left to spend time with her daughter, and after 9 years as a consumer, Kate has seen the market shift and knows that women need to fall in love with a design. Now that her daughter is older, Kate was ready to be back in fashion, and together with husband Andy Spade and partners Elyce Arons and Paolo Venturi, they have started “Frances Valentine,” which just reached its first year in business and the partners have seen the company grow and expand internationally with much success. Tune in when Kate and Andy Spade visit to speak on the project. Interview at 692 Broadway in NYC for BUILD Series.

Ms. Uduak

Ms. Uduak is best known as an advocate who uses the tools of media and the law to help creatives and businesses clearly articulate their true brand identities, and communicate it to the world through their products and services, to maximize profits. She is a lawyer, speaker, author, journalist, and recognized thought leader, and trailblazer for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States.  She is also the founder and publisher of Ladybrille® Magazine, and an Attorney and Partner at Ebitu Law Group, P.C, where her practice focuses on Fashion, Business, & Entertainment Law and Trials. For more information about her, visit www.msuduak.com.

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