CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses suicide.

In the hours following the tragic passing of American fashion designer Kate Spade, loads of fans and industry names have offered their condolences via social media.

Among the many was apparel designer Kenneth Cole who paid his respects by calling the late visionary an “inspiring accessory” on Twitter.

In the now-deleted tweet, Cole wrote:

“‘I believed that I could, so I did’. She alone didn’t change the handbag world but she was an inspiring accessory. #KateSpade #RIP.”

The founder of Kenneth Cole Productions was instantly met with heavy backlash from fans who took to Twitter to call out his insensitive words.

After deleting his tweet, Cole posted a heartfelt reworded version of his original sentiment.

Despite his attempt at backtracking, fans of the late designer continued to blast him for his tone-deaf tweet.

ICYMI: The 55-year-old whose line of handbags and accessories achieved massive success across the globe was found dead in her Park Avenue apartment on Tuesday.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot F. Shea said it appears Spade took her own life. An investigation is under way.

Spade was celebrated for her designs, which combined colour and practicality, and offered a fresh alternative to products from lauded European fashion houses.

In particular, Spade was recognised for injecting levity and personality into her work in a way that innovated the broader fashion industry.

Speaking to CNN, former editor-in-chief of Glamour magazine Cindi Leive said “everybody wants to create their own personal lifestyle brand, but that was new at the time, and in a lot of ways, the contemporary version of it really came from her.”

If you or someone you know would like to talk to someone about mental health, you can call the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (ages 5 to 25) or BeyondBlue on 1300 22 4636. If you are in crisis, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Image: Getty Images