Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Beauty Chain Ulta Sent a Seriously Tone-Deaf Article Referencing Late Designer Kate Spade

Ulta probably wishes they could go back in time and proofread the newsletter they sent out on May 1 (the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month) to its subscribers. The beauty company thought it was being cute with the headline, “The NYC It Girl is back / Come Hang with Kate Spade,” along with a photo of the brand’s perfume. Unfortunately, nobody thought to triple check with several sets of eyes and remember that the late designer died by suicide by hanging in 2018.

That led to a PR nightmare for Ulta, which had to quickly retract the newsletter sent out and issue an apology.  In a public statement, via HuffPost, the beauty company wrote, “This was a mistake, does not reflect our values and we are taking steps to ensure it does not happen again. And it was certainly not reflective of the deep respect we have for Kate Spade, her family and the kate spade new York brand and brand teams.” While they are “deeply sorry” for their “very insensitive choice of words,” fans were shocked and outraged on social media that the newsletter made it to their inboxes.

One user wrote on Twitter, “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.” Another account pointed out, “No it wasn’t a mistake. They willingly saw the tag line and approved it. The marketing dept should have known, its their job.” Some even thought the headline was intentional, tweeting, “I think they knew exactly what they were doing. Why else would they phrase it that way?! Be better #ulta Whoever sent that to press should be fired.”

Ulta Beauty responded to comments hoping to smooth things over with their loyal customers. “This was a very upsetting, but human mistake,” they wrote on Twitter. “At Ulta Beauty, we believe in owning and learning from our mistakes. We’ll work together to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.”

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to

Before you go, click here to see stars who have been open about their struggles with depression.

Ryan Reynolds

Leave a Comment