Alexander McQueen

Fashion Designer

Alexander McQueen is a fashion label, founded by the late Lee Alexander McQueen. Born in London in 1969, the youngest of six children, McQueen left school at 16 and went straight into an apprenticeship at the traditional Savile Row tailors Anderson and Sheppard. He then gained further experience at neighbouring tailors Gieves and Hawkes.

From there, McQueen moved to the theatrical costumiers Angels and Bermans, where he mastered six methods of pattern cutting, from the melodramatic 16th century to the brutally sharp tailoring that became a McQueen signature.

Aged 20, McQueen was employed by the designer Koji Tatsuno, who also had roots in British tailoring, and a year later he travelled to Milan to be Romeo Gigli's design assistant. He finally returned to London in 1994 where he completed the MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins. His degree collection 'Jack the Ripper Stalks his Victims' was famously bought in its entirety by the late fashion director of Tatler and tastemaker Isabella Blow, who discovered many other talents within the industry.

McQueen grabbed the attention of the press with his shock tactics in the early years by introducing the influential bumster trousers in his Nihilism collection from 1995, but also with fashion shows such as 'Highland Rape' and 'Belmer La Poupée'. He became known for using the runway as a medium to express powerful statements and evoke an instant emotion within the audience. He often described his shows as autobiographical.

Alexander McQueen was dubbed an enfant terrible by the international fashion press and became one of the youngest designers to win the title of British Designer of the Year in 1996, 1997 and again in 2001. From October 1996 to March 2001 McQueen held the position of Chief Designer at Givenchy, taking over from John Galliano who had gone to Christian Dior. In December 2000, his own label underwent a partnership with Gucci Group - now Kering - who acquired 51% of the company. In 2003, McQueen was awarded a CBE and British Designer of the Year for the fourth time. He launched a diffusion line, McQ, in 2005. To provide support and opportunities for visionary creatives, McQueen established the Sarabande Foundation, which is led by Trino Verkade and has help launch fashion talents like Craig Green.

Alexander McQueen collaborated on various projects with Nick Knight and SHOWstudio such as turning a suit into a wedding dress in 'The Bridegroom Stripped Bare', illustrating a few looks from his 2003 collections in 'Bellwether', creating a Madonna installation out of dyed maggots in 'Angle' and live-streaming the Plato's Atlantis spring/summer 2010 show on the SHOWstudio site, which went down as a groundbreaking moment in fashion.

McQueen died at the age of 40 in 2010. His long-time right-hand woman Sarah Burton stepped up as his successor as creative director.

Alexander McQueen is a fashion label, founded by the late Lee Alexander McQueen. Born in London in 1969, the youngest of six children, McQueen left school at 16 and went straight into an apprenticeship at the traditional Savile Row tailors Anderson and Sheppard. He then gained further experience at neighbouring tailors Gieves and Hawkes.

From there, McQueen moved to the theatrical costumiers Angels and Bermans, where he mastered six methods of pattern cutting, from the melodramatic 16th century to the brutally sharp tailoring that became a McQueen signature.

Aged 20, McQueen was employed by the designer Koji Tatsuno, who also had roots in British tailoring, and a year later he travelled to Milan to be Romeo Gigli's design assistant. He finally returned to London in 1994 where he completed the MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins. His degree collection 'Jack the Ripper Stalks his Victims' was famously bought in its entirety by the late fashion director of Tatler and tastemaker Isabella Blow, who discovered many other talents within the industry.

McQueen grabbed the attention of the press with his shock tactics in the early years by introducing the influential bumster trousers in his Nihilism collection from 1995, but also with fashion shows such as 'Highland Rape' and 'Belmer La Poupée'. He became known for using the runway as a medium to express powerful statements and evoke an instant emotion within the audience. He often described his shows as autobiographical.

Alexander McQueen was dubbed an enfant terrible by the international fashion press and became one of the youngest designers to win the title of British Designer of the Year in 1996, 1997 and again in 2001. From October 1996 to March 2001 McQueen held the position of Chief Designer at Givenchy, taking over from John Galliano who had gone to Christian Dior. In December 2000, his own label underwent a partnership with Gucci Group - now Kering - who acquired 51% of the company. In 2003, McQueen was awarded a CBE and British Designer of the Year for the fourth time. He launched a diffusion line, McQ, in 2005. To provide support and opportunities for visionary creatives, McQueen established the Sarabande Foundation, which is led by Trino Verkade and has help launch fashion talents like Craig Green.

Alexander McQueen collaborated on various projects with Nick Knight and SHOWstudio such as turning a suit into a wedding dress in 'The Bridegroom Stripped Bare', illustrating a few looks from his 2003 collections in 'Bellwether', creating a Madonna installation out of dyed maggots in 'Angle' and live-streaming the Plato's Atlantis spring/summer 2010 show on the SHOWstudio site, which went down as a groundbreaking moment in fashion.

McQueen died at the age of 40 in 2010. His long-time right-hand woman Sarah Burton stepped up as his successor as creative director.

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