Alexander McQueen: 03/17/69 – 02/11/2010
British designer Alexander McQueen was found dead in his home this morning, throwing the major players in the fashion world into shock right at the time that the new round of women’s runways shows are about to kick off for New York’s Fashion Week. He was only 40 years old.
McQueen was set to debut his label’s Fall 2010 collection for women in Paris next month. The Gucci Group (owner of the Alexander McQueen label) may still decide to produce a show based on the designs McQueen left behind, yet since designers are notorious for still working on the collections even as the models are walking out onto the stage, it’s more likely that the McQueen presence will be withdrawn from the Paris roster.
A video clip below of his last collection for Spring 2010, a professed theme of mammal and marine hybrid that had everyone marveling . . . if not over just the 10″ heels:
He consistently shocked and delighted, fully embraced digital technologies in both his designs and for his shows, and his creative daring was always the talk of the fashion press, even if it was less than a hit at retail.
His March 2009 collaboration with Target, usually a great source of hype for a high-end designer, confused the chain store’s consumers but was dubbed still worth a visit by NYRacked.
“People constantly make the mistake of comparing London with New York, Milan and Paris and that’s not what it’s about. London has its own fashion identity. You come here to find the next Alexander McQueen or John Galliano.” — Anna Wintour
“At one level, he was a master of the fantastic, creating astounding fashion shows that mixed design, technology and performance and on another he was a modern-day genius whose gothic aesthetic was adopted by women the world over. His death is the hugest loss to anyone who knew him and for very many who didn’t.” — Alexandra Shulman
“Alexander McQueen was one of the greatest designers of his generation. His genius, sometimes provocative, but admired and commended by everyone, constantly brought new perspectives. He generated emotion at the release of each one of his collections.” — François-Henri Pinault
“Our world will be a less beautiful place without him.” — Anne Pitcher
It’s rumored that the death was a suicide, though nothing is officially confirmed.
McQueen’s diffusion line for fall of 2010, McQ, was scheduled to show today in New York, the first day of New York Fashion Week for the fall 2010 womenswear lines. The show has been cancelled, and the Alexander McQueen website has been replaced with a brief message requesting respect for the family.
UPDATE 2 (02/12/09):
The NYPost is stating that it was a suicide: “‘His mother died and he couldn’t cope,’ one source told Britain’s Daily Mail. ‘His Paris show is coming up and his staff have been nagging him all week to get up and start working. But . . . he just couldn’t get up.’ The paper quoted sources as saying that McQueen, who had been in bed for a week, had cuts on his arms and that he’d attempted suicide more than once.”
McQueen’s mother’s funeral was scheduled for today, February 12th.