Alexander McQueen

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Lee Alexander McQueen (17 March 1969 – 11 February 2010) was a British fashion designer and couturier. His creative and experimental design received a lot of attention in the world of fashion.

Early life and education[change | change source]

McQueen was born on 17 March 1969 in Lewisham, London. He started drawing at age three. He wanted to be a designer since he was in primary school. However, he was not in the environment of learning design or going to an art school to develop his aptitude. McQueen left school at age 16 and started to serve an apprenticeship with Savile Row tailors in 'Anderson & Sheppard'. Afterwards, he also worked for 'Gieves & Hawkes'[1] which made stage costumes for famous shows in London. The skills he learned as an apprentice on Savile Row helped him to get a reputation in the fashion world. At the age of 21, McQueen was hired by Romeo Gigli as assistant designer in Italy.[2]

Career[change | change source]

In 1994, McQueen returned to London and received a master's degree from Central Saint Martins College. It was the turning point that led him to be a designer. McQueen worked at Givenchy as a head designer from 1996 to 2001. This period was important for McQueen to be an independent designer even though he had not achieved much credit for Givenchy. After he was separated with Givenchy, he focused on his label. Then, in 2001, he made a debut with "The Dance of the Twisted Bull" collection on Paris which provoked series of scandals.

In 2001 "Gucci" Group claimed 51% shares of Alexander McQueen brand, which was named after McQueen, and became his new partner. As time passed, McQueen launched "McQ" as second brand, and "My Queen" as perfume brand. McQueen also conducted various brand and design collaboration with Puma, Samsonite and Chivas Regal. By the end of 2006, Alexander McQueen brand has entered 25 cities including London, Paris, New York, Boston, Milan, Moscow, Tokyo and Seoul.[3]

In 1996, he was nominated as the youngest British Fashion Designer of the Year in history as well as in 1997, 2001 and 2003. Moreover, in year 2003, he was nominated as [4] by Council of Fashion Designers of America(CFDA) and received 'Commander of the Order of the British Empire' from British Queen. From mid 1990s to 2000s, he tasted a sharp success in his career.

Personal life, death and afterwards[change | change source]

McQueen was openly gay.[5] He suffered from depression since the suicide of his friend Isabella Blow, who was hatted as international fashion stylist and editor and most of all the dependable supporter and sponsor of McQueen. He hanged himself at his London home nine days after from the death of his mother. Depression was presumed to be the cause of his suicide. After his death, Sarah Burton (currently the chief designer of Alexander McQueen) and other designers whom McQueen favoured, have finalised McQueen's unfinished collection. And they presented the work not in runway but in "Hotel particulier" to very limited people.[2]

References[change | change source]