NEW YORK - Law enforcement officials say New York fashion designer Kate Spade has been found dead in her apartment in an apparent suicide.

The officials say she was found hanging by housekeeping staff inside her Park Avenue apartment at about 10:20 a.m. Tuesday. They say she left a note at the scene.

The officials were not authorized to divulge details of an ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The officials didn't know what the note said.

The 55-year-old Spade created a line of sleek handbags in the early 1990s that created a smash.

Her company, Kate Spade New York, has over 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the U.S. and more than 175 shops internationally.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention released the following statement:

We recently learned of the death of Kate Spade, the fashion designer and businesswoman. Based on reports, we understand that Ms. Spade died by suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers our condolences to her family, friends, and everyone touched by Spade and her creative work. 

There is never a single cause for suicide. Suicide is the result of many factors that come together such as an underlying mental health condition, life stressors, and access to lethal means. We must do more to prevent such tragic deaths through greater awareness of mental health, common risks and warning signs, and effective interventions and treatments.

If you need help right now, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.