Some Ulta shoppers are horrified by a careless mistake that seemed to unintentionally reference Kate Spade’s 2018 suicide in a marketing email.
On Monday morning, beauty retailer Ulta sent out a sales email to subscribers with the subject like: ‘Come hang with Kate Spade.’
Though it was no doubt unintentional, the phrase choice is awkward given that Kate Spade, the woman who founded the brand baring her name, died by suicide in 2018, with reports at the time stating that she hanged herself with a scarf in her New York apartment.
Several shoppers have quickly taken to Twitter to air their grievances, calling the email ‘disgusting’ and ‘insensitive’ — and wondering how no one realized the mistake before it was sent.
On Monday morning, beauty retailer Ulta sent out a sales email to subscribers with the subject like: ‘Come hang with Kate Spade’
Though it was no doubt unintentional, the phrase choice is awkward given that Kate Spade, the woman who founded the brand baring her name, died by suicide in 2018
The promotional email has earned swift backlash on Twitter, where at least a few critics accused Ulta of doing it on purpose.
‘How disgusting to use for clickbait,’ wrote one.
Most, though, acknowledge that it was likely unintentional — but insist that’s no excuse.
‘I cannot believe I got this email today. Is this some kind of sick joke? How insensitive and absolutely tone deaf. Apparently nobody in marketing at Ulta remembers how Kate Spade died. Disgusting,’ wrote one angry subscriber.
‘Hey @ultabeauty…your E-Mail title is “Come hang with Kate Spade” …a little insensitive, don’t you think?’ tweeted another.
The promotional email has earned swift backlash on Twitter since Sunday night
‘I’m guessing they casually forgot how Kate Spade died?’ wrote a third.
‘why did ulta send out an email with the subject line “come hang with kate spade” WHO LET THEM SEND THAT OMG,’ a fourth chimed in.
‘The @ultabeauty email tonight is the perfect example of how key style guides are. Tone can vary + each brand should have a glossary of terms. There are the things a thoughtful content team works on. I hope they revisit their processes after this severe error,’ another critic lectured.
Yet another called it ‘awful,’ writing: ‘Kate Spade was amazing and an icon. Your lack of attention to detail is sad at best, negligent and hurtful at worst. Do better. #MentalHealthAwareness.’
Some imagined there would be hell to pay.
‘Ulta Beauty corporate probably having a MELTDOWN realizing somebody sent out a promo email with the subject line “Come hang with Kate Spade” … somebody’s losing their job lol,’ wrote one.
Most people acknowledge that it was likely unintentional but insist that’s no excuse
‘Didn’t believe Ulta sent out that Kate Spade email until I just checked my email. Some one is about to be fired,’ said another.
Kate Spade started her eponymous label with her husband, Andy, in the early ’90s. The Spades put their own money into the line, showing Kate’s handbag designs at trade shows until they received orders from the likes of Barneys and Fred Segal.
Though they never gifted the bags to celebrities — as so many brands do for exposure, hoping the stars will be photographed with their bags, shoes, or dresses — they soon found themselves in Vogue and earned fame organically.
By the time Kate and Andy sold Kate Spade New York to Neiman Marcus in 2006, it was iconic and had expanded beyond bags to clothes, other accessories, and home goods.
But Kate’s ongoing battle with depression led to her suicide by hanging in June 2018.
Kate’s ongoing battle with depression led to her suicide by hanging in June 2018
She was separated from her ex-husband, Andy, with whom she started Kate Spade
Shortly after her death, her ex-husband Andy — from whom she was separated — shared a statement with the New York Times.
‘Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives,’ he said.
‘We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.’
For the past 10 months we had been living separately, but within a few blocks of each other. Bea was living with both of us and we saw each other or spoke every day,’ he went on.
‘We ate many meals together as a family and continued to vacation together as a family. Our daughter was our priority.’