An American makeup giant has been forced to apologise after ugly backlash to its latest promotional email involving late designer Kate Spade.
American makeup company Ulta Beauty has been forced to apologise after it faced ugly backlash over its latest “tone-deaf” email promotion involving late fashion designer Kate Spade.
The cosmetics giant sent out an email for a Kate Spade perfume on Sunday that read “Come hang with Kate Spade” alongside a sale for its beauty products.
Spade died by suicide in 2018, aged 55.
Ulta apologized in a statement to the New York Post on Monday.
“Ulta Beauty recently sent an email featuring Kate Spade New York fragrance with an insensitive subject line and for this, we sincerely apologise,” the company said.
“Mental health is a very serious, important issue in this country, and not something we would ever take lightly.
“We apologise to the Spade family, our Kate Spade New York brand partners and to our guests. Thank you for understanding as we strive to do better.”
Fans were appalled by the reference and expressed outrage on social media.
“How disgusting to use for clickbait,” wrote one, believing the message was written intentionally.
“I cannot believe I got this email today,” one person wrote on Twitter. “Is this some kind of sick joke? How insensitive and absolutely tone-deaf… Disgusting.”
Another chimed in, “Just got this email … this is wrong of Ulta Beauty.”
“Ulta Beauty corporate probably having a MELTDOWN realising somebody sent out a promo email with the subject line ‘Come hang with Kate Spade’ … somebody’s losing their job,” a user added.
“Ulta Beauty f**ked up with their Kate Spade email. Not only did I get a metric f**k ton of emails all night, but the headline was BULLSH*T. Ulta gives no care to the mental health community, Kate Spade or her family. Gross,” a fan wrote.
As May marks Mental Health Awareness month, another noted, “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.”
Kate Spade founded the fashion brand under her name with husband Andy Spade in the early ’90s, putting up their own money to launch their line of preppy, colourful handbags, which they hustled together at trade shows for years until the likes of US retail giants Barneys and Saks would carry them – and without the help of celebrity endorsements as so many brands rely on these days.
The duo sold their stake in Kate Spade to Neiman Marcus in 2006 – by then already considered iconic, and expanded beyond bags to include other accessories, clothing and home goods.
At the time of the fashion icon’s death in 2018, her family sent out a statement saying: “To most of the world, she was Kate Spade, the beautiful embodiment of her brand and a glamorous cultural icon.”
Andy released his own statement at the time of Kate’s death, explaining that “there were personal demons she was battling”.
“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 wrote in 2018.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission