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Monday
Jun112018

As Trumps return to dormant Dominican development, original buyers and watchdogs cry foul

William Ganz(NEW YORK) -- William Ganz knew it was a big investment, but with “The Donald” involved, he felt certain he would strike gold.
It was May 23, 2007, and the 28-year-old Baltimore-based entrepreneur was preparing to invest his life savings in Trump Farallon Estates at Cap Cana, a luxury development being planned by local developers in the Dominican Republic and championed by his famously gilded business idol, Donald J. Trump.

Ganz had read every one of the real estate mogul’s books and even auditioned for a spot on “The Apprentice,” so when Trump called the project a “fantastic opportunity,” Ganz believed him. The Trump brand, he said, brought the project “instant credibility.”

The same day buildable lots in the cliff-top resort went on sale, Ganz and dozens of other buyers bought out 95 percent of the development, snapping up more than $350 million in property. As Trump described it in videos and in person, there would be a condominium-hotel, a beach club, private villas, and a world class golf course.

But the development never took root, a failure some blamed on the 2008 financial crash. After investing years of work -- his savings gone and his spirit broken -- Ganz left his island dream behind.

“The air was out of the balloon,” he said.

For Ganz and the scores of others who lost millions on the Trump Farallon development, that should have been the end of the story. But shortly after Trump took the White House, Trump’s son was back in Cap Cana. The developer issued a surprise announcement in February 2017, releasing a smiling photo of Eric Trump on the bluffs of the Dominican coast, emerald waters at his back.

“This relationship remains incredibly strong, especially with Eric, who has led the project since its inception,” the developer announced.

News of what the Trump Organization was describing as a “new phase” of Trump Farallon never reached the project’s original buyers, according to those interviewed by ABC News.

Using records made public in court documents, ABC News located 48 of the original property owners from the Trump-branded Cap Cana resort. A quarter of those agreed to talk about their experience, though most spoke only on the condition they not be identified. Many who did speak said they still felt stung by the failed investment. Like Mariano Gonzalez, a Puerto Rican doctor who had pooled a big chunk of his life savings along with two friends to invest $3 million in land atop the scenic cliffs overlooking the turquoise Caribbean waters.

“We were betrayed,” Gonzalez told ABC News. “Nothing was done and everything was lost. My main message is, ‘Give me back my money.’”

One reason Gonzalez and others were so surprised to hear of Eric Trump’s return to Cap Cana was because it seemed like it had all ended so badly.

In a blistering lawsuit filed in 2012, the Trump Organization accused the developer of having “grossly underreported” the project’s sales figures to avoid having to pay the Trump company its share of the proceeds. “This was textbook fraud on a wide scale, involving millions of dollars,” the Trump lawsuit alleged.

The developer of the Cap Cana resort, Ricardo Hazoury, never mounted a public response, beyond arguing the suit belonged in the Dominican Republic, not the U.S. The case settled a year later in secret. The Hazoury family declined through a New York attorney to be interviewed or answer written questions for this story. The Trump Organization also did not respond to requests for comment, other than to say that the project’s revival in 2017 was not unexpected to them.

“The project has multiple components or phases to be built over time,” said Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization. “That’s how it was structured from day one.”

Unlike many of the original buyers – many of whom saw their land lost to foreclosure – the Trumps made money. According to the court records, the Trump Organization received some $12 million in licensing fees. They resolved their legal claim in an undisclosed settlement, the records show.

Concerns about potential conflicts


More than a year after Eric Trump’s return to Cap Cana, the plans for a new Trump-branded Dominican development have remained shrouded in secrecy. But the potential revival has raised a host of thorny questions, not only for the dozens of original buyers who lost money in the planned Caribbean resort, but for both ethics groups and the president’s congressional critics.

The Dominican project, they argued, offers a fresh example of the issues raised in U.S. District Court on Thursday. Lawyers representing nearly 200 Democrats in Congress argued in a lawsuit that President Trump is violating the Constitution by accepting potentially profitable favors and business opportunities abroad.

“The problem is clear, and the implications for U.S. national security are serious,” said Sen. Benjamin Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, who is a plaintiff in the suit and a leading member of the Foreign Relations Committee. “In country after country, it is a major problem when the Trump Organization conducts business because that business financially benefits President Trump, just like here in the Dominican Republic.”

For Cardin and other members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the chief concern has stemmed from allegations of favorable foreign treatment to Trump businesses. Trump has pledged that his family’s company would avoid any new foreign enterprise, but without adhering to that pledge, Cardin told ABC News, “the American people are left questioning whether the President’s decisions abroad are made only in the U.S. national security interest or with regard to his business interests.”

The Trump administration and the President’s family company have repeatedly rejected any suggestion that a conflict could emerge in countries where the Trumps are in business. During a Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to a question about the potential for U.S. foreign policy to conflict with Trump ventures abroad “bizarre.”

“I've been incredibly involved in this administration's foreign policy now for some sixteen months and I have seen literally no evidence of what you are scurrilously suggesting,” Pompeo said.

Watchdogs in both the Dominican Republic, and the United States however, aren’t so sure.

Bernardo Vega, a leading Dominican news columnist who once served as the country’s ambassador to the U.S., told ABC News he wants to know if the developers who are working with the Trump Organization are receiving special treatment as they have sought to acquire permission to build 20-story hotel towers in a part of the island where building heights are severely restricted. Vega wrote a newspaper column alleging special treatment, but the tourism officials denied that to ABC News.

Vega has continued, though to voice his concerns to reporters, telling the U.S. publication Fast Company in February: “Here in the palace, the president’s thoughts are that this U.S. president is angry and we better not get in his way. We don’t want to cross him.”

The former U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Wally Brewster, told ABC News he wants to know if any of the president’s broad range of powers have become tools of leverage in the company’s dealings with the powerful Dominican family that is developing Cap Cana. Brewster, who was an Obama appointee, noted that Dominican business executives treasure their visas. Even if the topic is never mentioned, he said, just the fear they could lose their U.S. travel visas could give the Trump Organization an upper hand in any negotiation.

Brewster said he does not know if visas were ever invoked in discussions over the Trump development. But he said “the threat of potentially having your visa pulled can be just as powerful as having it pulled,” he said.

Brewster also questioned whether the U.S. government is still aggressively pursuing a slow-moving legal case it brought against the project’s developer for more than $12 million in U.S. loan guarantees issued by the Export-Import Bank of the United States but never repaid. The loans, bank officials told ABC News, were meant to help the Cap Cana developer to import U.S. products. But Dominican court records show efforts to recover the U.S. taxpayer funds have stalled. There has been no action on the case since August 2016.

Eryn Schornick, a lawyer with the watchdog group Global Witness told ABC News these are concerns inherent with having a U.S. President whose family is doing extensive business overseas.

“The primary concern I see with the potential of Mr. Trump’s family returning to the Dominican Republic is abuse of power,” said Schornick, who has done legal work in the Dominican. “The fact is, the Dominican Republic is a very small country. They’re in a place where doing business with [the family of] the President of the United States could influence the way in which any negotiations in foreign policy may happen.”

In Cap Cana, snakes and high grass

Fausto Peyrani, an Italian businessman, gave ABC News a tour of the lot he purchased at the lavish sales event a decade ago.

He drove slowly up the road to the 68 cliff-top lots that had sold in 2007 for between $3 million and $12 million, past the helipads where sales teams offered buyers helicopter tours of the building site, and the tropical restaurant with koi ponds where Trump and his children, Eric and Ivanka, greeted buyers amidst an endless spread of gourmet food and champagne. The glass windows and doors were shattered, and overgrowth had begun swallowing the walls and over-running the Koi ponds. A snake could be seen slithering behind the bar.

On his property, a steel tower once erected to provide a view-scape of the bluffs below had rusted and started to buckle.

“Ten years ago, I like many others were absolutely certain that this place would develop rapidly,” he said.

Now, he does not hold hope for living long enough to see the mansion he imagined building on the property. “I think my great, great, great, grand grandchildren, in 30 years will say, ‘Oh we had a very smart great, great, great grandfather.’ But, all those in between, are not going to see anything.”

Gonzalez told ABC News that he still remembers being greeted at the sales event by Eric and Ivanka Trump. And he still has the letter he received, a copy of which can be read below, signed by the man who one day would be the American president.

“You can rest assured that Cap Cana will be up to the gold standard the Trump name signifies worldwide,” Trump wrote in 2008. “I have no doubt that Trump at Cap Cana will be no exception in achieving the usual success that we have come accustomed with [sic] all of our products around the world.”

Now, he grimaces when he writes the monthly $129 maintenance checks to insure he is in good standing with the developer. He stopped visiting years ago and no longer expects to see signs of activity.

“The grass was growing over the roads. There was a big fountain as you came in, [but] the fountain broke down, it was not functioning,” he said. “It [had] deteriorated. You could see that there was nothing going on.”

Ganz, now a Baltimore real estate agent, also said he has not heard from anyone about the “new phase” of the development that gave him his first tough lesson in the harscrabble world of real estate. He says his life has moved on since he says he ran out of funds to maintain the property and his bank took ownership of the land.

The one-time Trump true believer has chosen to harbor no grudges against the Trump Organization for what went wrong. “For people to look back frustrated, or say things weren’t delivered, or it was false advertising, or improper marketing practices, I don’t really take that perspective.” And he said he still holds out a glimmer of hope for a return.

“I think there’s a lot of frustration with the overall body of investors that purchased in Farallon, but I take that in stride,” Ganz said. “To me the best thing that could happen would be to help me finish what I started down there. And, hey, the ship has righted, train's back on the track, and the American dream continues in the Dominican Republic.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun112018

'Rocket Man' tacos, 'Four Peace' chicken boxes help Singapore restaurants cash in on summit

Ore Huiying/Getty Images(SENTOSA ISLAND, Singapore) -- Restaurants and bars in Singapore are known for their savvy adaptations of other cultures and new trends. With less than 24 hours before the planned historic meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in this city-state, creative menus and ideas with a touch of humor are luring customers.

The most popular are summit-themed burgers. Wolf Burgers, a popular spot at a food court in Suntec City, offers the “Burger for World Peace” made of Korean marinated bulgogi brisket with kimchi mayonnaise and melted American cheddar cheese.

“It’s a very important event for us, because we are celebrating world peace,” a high school student who was sampling the new menu told ABC News. “There will be no more World War Three.”

Another burger can be found at a food stall in Makansutra Gluttons Bay. The Old Satay Club Mee Goreng stall No. 4 sells a limited-edition item called “Trump-Kim Peace Burger.” The cook includes kimchi for a Korean taste and it sells for about $9.

Meanwhile, Royal Plaza on Scotts Hotel features a grilled “Trump-Kim Burger” with a mix of minced chicken, seaweed and kimchi patty, with Korean rice rolls and fries on the side, also for about $9. To wash it down, the “Summit Iced Tea” is sold for about $4.50 as a mix of Korean honey yuzu and traditional iced tea.

OSG Bar and Kitchen coined a fusion dish to represent the diverse culture in Singapore with a sprinkle of U.S.-North Korea summit on top. “Trump-Kimchi Nasi Lemak” is served in a round bowl symbolizing peace, with U.S. imported dry-aged beef and fried Korean Kimchi on top of chicken rice, and Malaysian chili, selling for less than $16.

The owner of the restaurant, Zach Wen, made a flier and photo-op board to promote this summit-themed Singaporean rice.

Gastropub Escobar restaurant brought the expected “war of nerves” between Trump and Kim with its summit-special menu. With the “U.S.-North Korea Showdown,” customers can play drinking games with 10 blue vodka shots on behalf of the United States and red soju shots for North Korea, at about $45. Those who aren’t up for a drinking game can savor a bourbon-based glass of “Trump” or soju-based “Kim” cocktails. They cost around $9.40 a glass.

Lucha Loco introduced a seasonal taco menu just for the summit. The Mexican restaurant named summit-season tacos after the two leaders’ nicknames. The “Rocket Man Taco” represents North Korean leader Kim, as Trump once referred to him. And there’s the “El Trumpo Taco” named after the U.S. president. The price begins at about $7.50.

Even fast-food chain KFC is jumping on the bandwagon, offering a four-piece meal in a "Four Peace" box on the day of the summit.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun072018

New warning says you may need to change your tires sooner than you think

ABCNews.com(NEW YORK) -- As summer storm season rolls in, new research offers fresh guidelines to ensure drivers roll safely to a stop.

The American Automobile Association released a study on Thursday showing that worn tires traveling at speeds of about 60 mph in wet conditions can extend average stopping distances by 43 percent, or an additional 87 feet or more, when compared to new tires. The difference is more than the length of a semi-trailer.

"The tread of the tire - it's only purpose in life is to get water away so the tire can remain in contact with the road," Greg Brannon, AAA's director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations told ABC. "So you have to maintain that tread depth."

With their findings, AAA is updating the old test of placing a penny in the tread of your tire -- and now suggesting that drivers use a quarter.

The lower the tread depth, the more likely a car will hydroplane.

Experts suggest slipping an upside-down quarter between your tire grooves, looking at the side bearing Washington’s head. If you can see all of it, it’s time to start shopping for new tires.

Most industry guidelines and state laws recommend that drivers wait until the tread depth reaches 2/32” to replace tires - but AAA says stopping distances have already begun to deteriorate once the tread depth reaches 4/32”.

In addition to regularly checking the tread of your tires, safety experts recommend avoiding cruise control in wet conditions. Drivers need to be able to react as quickly as possible if the vehicle loses traction.

Increasing the space between you and the car in front will also allow ample room to respond - so keep your distance.

If you do find yourself hydroplaning, AAA recommends gently easing off the accelerator and steer in the direction the vehicle should go until traction is regained. Braking forcefully can cause the vehicle to skid.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun072018

Uber driver charged with first-degree murder after allegedly killing passenger: DA

Denver Police(DENVER) -- An Uber driver has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting and killing a passenger in Denver, prosecutors said.

Michael Hancock, 29, is accused of shooting and killing his Uber passenger, 45-year-old Hyun Kim, early Friday on I-25, the Denver District Attorney's Office said. A witness described seeing a man slumped down in a silver sedan pulled over on the side of the road, according to the probable cause statement.

Kim was shot several times, according to the statement.

Hancock's first court appearance has not yet been set, the district attorney's office said.

“We are deeply troubled by the events in Denver today," an Uber spokesperson said Friday. "Our thoughts are with the families of those involved. The driver’s access to the app has been removed, and we will continue working closely with police."

In a statement, Hancock's family described him as a "great dad."

“He has 2 kids," the statement said. "He’s a college student. And his big thing is to make the world a better place.”

According to the Denver Post, Hancock's family said the suspect was acting in self-defense, protecting himself from being beaten in the head.

It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun072018

This robot named Flippy can cook your hamburger for you

ABC News(PASADENA, Calif.) -- Imagine a world where your burger is made by a robot. Well, that's now a reality at CaliBurger in Pasadena, California.

The robot, nicknamed Flippy, started helping the restaurant's staff this spring. Flippy is the world's first autonomous robotic kitchen assistant, according to Miso Robotics, the robotics and artificial intelligence solutions company behind it.

"Flippy is an adaptable and learning robot, so not only will he get better and better over time, but you could look forward to meeting some of his cousins really soon," said Dave Zito, co-founder and CEO of Miso Robotics.

Zito said Flippy took two years, countless hours of work and 500,000 lines of code to get going.

Using a combination of "3D, thermal and regular vision to automatically detect when raw burger patties are placed on the grill [Flippy] monitors each one in real-time throughout the cooking process," according to Miso Robotics.

The company has secured $13 million so far, and is working to raise more funding.

Zito said the idea of Flippy was born when he met the owner and founder of CaliBurger and they came up with the robot together.

"We really envisioned it as a productivity tool to help his staff keep up with rising demand and help elevate and improve the working conditions for his staff in commercial kitchens," Zito said.

Zito also addressed fears of robots possibly replacing humans on the job. He says the hope is the robot will act as a "third hand for the overworked line cooks and chefs in America."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun072018

CrossFit gym closes after Pride Month workout canceled

WRTV(INDIANAPOLIS) -- A CrossFit gym in downtown Indianapolis closed less than 24 hours after it canceled a workout in support of Pride Month that was planned by employees and members.

CrossFit's Chief Knowledge Officer Russell Berger tweeted his support of the cancellation, thanking them for "refusing to celebrate sin." The tweet has since been deleted.

The owner of the Indianapolis CrossFit Infiltrate, Brandon Lowe, later sent ABC affiliate WRTV a statement about the canceled class that read: "The gym has a history of welcoming and serving people training to be fit. ... "The gym never has and never will be anything but welcoming to all human beings who live, move and breathe in God's world."

The official CrossFit Twitter account later posted that "The statements made today by Russell Berger do not reflect the views of CrossFit Inc. For this reason, his employment with CrossFit has been terminated."

Berger later confirmed his termination in a personal Twitter post.

CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman, also on Twitter, said, "I am crazy proud of the gay community in CrossFit."

Many gym members and employees quit immediately after the Pride workout was canceled, going from CrossFit Infiltrate to Crossfit Naptown, also in Indianapolis.

"We are open to all people regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender characteristics, anything like that," said Caitlin Byczko, owner of Crossfit Naptown. "We have been very open about saying we're welcome for people to come try out and be a part of our community and see if our community works for them."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun062018

Crayola released a makeup line and it is everything we've been dreaming of

ASOS(NEW YORK) -- Now, you can actually color on your face with Crayola crayons!

Crayola just released a makeup line in partnership with ASOS and, in true Crayola fashion, it features 98 very colorful shades.

There are 58 pieces for sale, including face crayons, mascaras, highlighter crayons, face and eyeshadow palettes and various different shades of lip and cheek crayons. Prices range from $14.50 to $40.00 and ASOS says the products are “all vegan” -- even the makeup brushes! The packaging also features Crayola’s iconic crayon box branding and crayon names -- it’s bringing out the inner kid in all of us.

From mermaid eyeshadow palettes to the electric blue mascara, the makeup line is tickling us pink.

So go color outside the lines and “Go Play” with some of these awesome finds that are sure to liven up your makeup bag!

These products were curated by our "Good Morning America" editorial team. "GMA" has affiliate partnerships, so we will get a small share of revenue from your purchases through these links. All product prices are determined by the retailer and subject to change. By visiting these websites, you will leave GoodMorningAmerica.com and any information you share with the retailer will be governed by its website's terms and conditions and privacy policies.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun062018

The first Gerber baby, now 91, met the current Gerber baby and the photo is adorable

@gerber/Instagram(NEW YORK) -- The original Gerber baby and Gerber's 2018 spokesbaby, Lucas Warren, recently posed in a photo that's tugging at heart strings.

Ann Turner Cook, 91, who's still portrayed in the brand's iconic trademark logo, recently met Lucas and his family.

The Warrens said that Cook and Lucas "immediately bonded."

"Lucas walked right up to her, flashing his signature smile and waving, and we could tell he loved her right away," the Warrens told ABC News in a statement Wednesday. "He even grabbed a cookie and offered to share it with her, which she accepted! Ann Turner Cook is truly a wonderful woman and pleasure to be around, and we couldn’t be more grateful that she took the time to meet with our family."

Gerber posted a photo of the encounter on the company's Instagram page Tuesday. The Warrens were on a trip near Cook's home and asked if Gerber could arrange the meeting, the company told ABC News in a statement.

"Gerber saw this as the perfect opportunity for the two iconic Gerber babies to meet in person," a spokesperson wrote in an email. "As you can see in this photo, Ann Turner Cook and Lucas were all smiles when they met!"

Lucas Warren was revealed as the Gerber Spokesbaby 2018 in February. He also has Down syndrome.

But Gerber said that's not why he was chosen.

Bernadette Tortorella, senior media manager for Gerber, told Good Morning America that Lucas was chosen from 140,000 entries for "the twinkle in his eye and his rosy cheeks," along with his sparkling personality.

Lucas' mother, Cortney Warren of Dalton, Georgia, told GMA at the time that when she was "completely shocked" when she found out Lucas had been selected. She described Lucas as "very energetic, loves to make others laugh. He's never met a stranger."

Jason Warren called his son being chosen "an honor."

"He has a platform to spread joy to everyone and we can't wait to see how much he changes people’s perception on what it means to be a baby with Down syndrome," he said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun062018

Qatar Airways CEO apologizes for suggesting a woman couldn't do his job

Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The head of Qatar Airways apologized on Tuesday after suggesting that only a man is capable of doing his job as chief executive of the airline.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker reportedly made the comments after a reporter asked him about the lack of gender diversity in the Middle Eastern aviation sector, saying his position would be much too challenging for a woman.

According to Bloomberg, Al Baker told reporters that Qatar Airways “has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position.”

Al Baker, who was also appointed chair of the International Air Transport Association this week, offered his “heartfelt apologies” in a statement on Tuesday, but he claimed his comments had been “sensationalized.”

“I would like to offer my heartfelt apologies for any offence caused by my comment yesterday, which runs counter to my track record of expanding the role of women in leadership throughout the Qatar Airways Group,” Al Baker, 56, said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Qatar Airways firmly believes in gender equality in the workplace and our airline has been a pioneer in our region in this regard.”

The company says about 44 percent of its workforce consists of women and claims to be the first airline to employ female pilots and engineers.

Al Baker’s initial remarks, which he said were a joke, contrast with efforts by many international airlines who have launched initiatives to diversify the predominantly male aviation industry.

Al Baker clarified his position in an interview on Tuesday, before the company issues its statement.

“I was only referring to one individual,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “I was not referring to the staff in general.”

When asked if he would support a female CEO, he said: “It will be my pleasure to have a female CEO candidate I could then develop to become CEO after me.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun052018

Designer Kate Spade left a legacy of chic, fun fashion

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It is a sudden loss for fashion lovers obsessed with the woman who dressed us in bright colors, polka dots and fun fashion -- Kate Spade.

The 55-year-old designer was found dead in her New York City apartment Tuesday just hours after the fashion community gathered at this year's CFDA Fashion Awards. She apparently took her own life, police sources confirmed to ABC News.

Spade was known for statement handbags in the shape of flamingos, apples, frogs, crabs, snails and pineapples. She created dresses that flowed in a summer's breeze and ones that stiffened for the boardroom. Her shoes provided a coquettish end to any outfit.

The Kansas City, Missouri native initially had a passion for journalism when she began her career, obtaining a degree in the field from Arizona State University.

A year later, in 1986, she started working in the fashion accessories department at Mademoiselle magazine, where her maiden name, Katy Brosnahan, appeared on the masthead. And in a title change that proves she knew fashion intimately, she left the magazine in 1991 as senior fashion editor.

Finding love in her life would also create for her an eponymous fashion house.

Spade met her now-husband Andy Spade, the brother of actor David Spade, and together they founded her line of handbags in 1993.

Years later, her dream -- and offerings -- would expand into hundreds of Kate Spade New York stores in North America and in Japan, with her products on shelves in more than 450 stores worldwide. By 2015, Spade sold her company to shoe designer Stuart Weitzman for $574 million. Tapestry, previously known as Coach, Inc., later acquired the company for $2.4 billion.

Recently, Spade moved on to launch a new luxury brand, Frances Valentine. She was so committed to the idea of bringing new luxury shoes and handbags to market that she even legally changed her name to Kate Valentine Spade.

For all that she had built in business, Spade made her role as a mother to her now 13-year-old daughter her top priority. The designer, who'd often boast about not having professional help, took time off from leading her fashion house to raise her. And she made sure that her company helped working mothers like herself.

Mary Breech, the chief marketing officer, told blog Hey Mama last year that Kate Spade was an "inclusive" place to be a working mom.

"Kate Spade & Company is a great place to be a mom," she said. "Leaving my children for so many hours each week isn’t easy, but I am honestly able to say without hesitation that I love what I do, the people I work with, and the things I work on."

But it didn't mean motherhood was without stress for Spade.

"Being a mother adds an enormous amount of stress to your life. You need to make sure you’re there for everything. We don’t have other people to do it for us — I want to make sure I’m there," she told The Cut in 2016. "When you’re trying to be a parent and a businessperson at the same time, that is the most stressful thing you could do."

Spade never strayed too far from her magazine days, penning four books. Her latest, "Muses, Visionaries and Madcap Heroines," was a coffee table book, featuring real and fictional heroines like onscreen fashion icons Carrie Bradshaw of "Sex and the City" and Cher Horowitz of "Clueless."

The designer, who was in the midst of building her Frances Valentine label, spent "exhausting" mornings sipping Diet Pepsi while trying very hard to get it all done, she told The Cut in 2016.

"I’m a little OCD," she told the site. "I turn on all the lights, get everything going, start making breakfast. I slowly wake up my daughter up — I give her a little nudge every ten minutes. I swear to god, it’s so exhausting."

Spade continued, "I feed the dog; I feed the fish. My husband, Andy, runs to Starbucks because he doesn’t want any part of that banter. I’m in my daughter’s room going, 'Oh my god, I asked you 20 minutes ago and you’re still in your pajamas.' It’s a little mini-battle."

She loved listening to the Rolling Stones and the Jackson 5, she said in the same interview. She loved slipping into her pajamas immediately after having family dinner. She loved traveling and finding inspiration on the road. It seemed like a full life, but Spade seemed to enjoy it.

"My life is a little kooky," she told The Cut, "but a lot of fun."

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