Rachel Brosnahan’s latest role is her most personal yet.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star, fresh off her SAG Award win for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, was revealed as the new face of Frances Valentine — the label founded by her late aunt, Kate Spade, who died at age 55 in June of last year.
Following the news of her sudden and shocking death by suicide, the actress posted a video of Spade dancing on Instagram, writing in the caption that her aunt, “had a light that words can’t capture but touched everyone she came into contact with. She was exceedingly kind, beautifully sensitive, insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known. She was effervescent.”
Spade stepped away from her eponymous label in 2007, and, after a brief hiatus to raise her daughter Frances, founded Frances Valentine in 2016. Brosnahan told People that her decision to front for the campaign was out of respect for her aunt’s legacy.
“In the wake of Katy’s passing, my family and I were so overwhelmed and encouraged by the love and support we received from those who were touched by Katy’s work, many of whom were strangers from around the world,” she told People. “When you lose someone you love, you search for boundless ways to keep their memory alive. This felt like a way to do that through her beautiful creations and an opportunity to share them with all of those who her work meant so much to.”
The Spring 2019 campaign, which was shared on Instagram on Wednesday, sees the 28-year-old looking quite like Mrs. Midge Maisel herself in bold salmon trousers, which were accented with sage slippers and a mustard colored satchel. And it’s not exactly a coincidence that the style is so familiar. The brand says that Kate herself had named the satchel “Midge” after her niece’s TV character.
The casting of Brosnahan isn’t the only nod to Spade’s legacy — the campaign was photographed in one of the late designer’s favorite places: Her Frances Valentine New York City showroom. Brosnahan and Elyce Arons, Spade’s business partner who helped build the brand and has since taken its helm, set the mood at the shoot with the designer’s favorite tunes from the likes of the Rolling Stones, John Lennon and Joni Mitchell, according to People.
Oh, and that chignon? That’s also a reference to Spade’s signature updo.
Credit: Getty Images
After her death, Arons noted that Kate had many seasons’ worth of material left behind, so we can expect Kate’s personal touch to be around for a while longer.