Alexander McQUEEN

Alexander McQUEEN store The Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE

The House of Alexander McQueen is distinctive for its innovative and uncompromising expression of unbridled creativity. Founded by Lee Alexander McQueen in 1992, the House joined the Kering Group in 2001. Sarah Burton was appointed Head of Design for womenswear in 2000 and named Creative Director in 2010. Under her leadership, the House produces critically acclaimed collections driven by a highly personal vision and a respect for both experimentation and time-honoured craftsmanship.


Today, the House is synonymous with modern British couture. A love of nature and understanding of British history are key inspirations for the House. Through a constant exploration of the natural world, Burton celebrates the values of English rural traditions, a sense of community and the touch of the hand, whilst simultaneously pushing at the boundaries of fashion. Integral to the Alexander McQueen culture is the juxtaposition between the feminine and the masculine, fragility and strength, romance and rebellion, man and machine.


Who Is Alexander McQueen

Born in London on March 17, 1969, to a father who was a taxi driver and a mother who was a teacher, Alexander McQueen grew up in a family of six. He left school at 16 to begin a journey in fashion, first as an apprentice at Savile Row (at Anderson & Sheppard and Gieves & Hawkes), where he learned traditional tailoring techniques, and then at Angels & Bermans, Japanese designer Koji Tatsuno, and Italian designer Romeo Gigli with all whom he learned about pattern-cutting. Actually, this strong background is what taught and inspired him to experiment with tailoring, cutting, construction, and draping once he became a fashion designer. 

Upon his return to London, McQueen took an MA in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins. Fun fact: the late fashion stylist Isabella Blow liked his graduate collection “Jack the Ripper Stalks his Victims” so much that she purchased all of it for £5,000 and, of course, he made a name for himself with it. She is the one who encouraged him to go by the name “Alexander” rather than his first given name “Lee”. The strong debut at Central Saint Martins pushed Lee Alexander McQueen to launch his namesake label in 1992.

Famous Alexander McQueen designs 

McQueen’s designs were greatly inspired by cultural influences from abroad – like Africa, China, India, Turkey, and Japan. He worked with a diverse range of materials, such as feathers (see his famous fall 2006 “bird’s nest” headdress, the spring 2008 “butterfly headdress”, and the “Horn of plenty” fall 2009 dress), flowers (see “Sarabande” spring 2007 dress, “Widows of Culloden” fall 2006 dress), and glass (see “Eshu” fall 2000 dress), among others. Besides the famous bumster trousers, some of McQueen’s iconic pieces include the skull scarf, the SS 2003 ‘Oyster’ dress, ‘The Girl Who Lived in the Tree’ dress, the armadillo boots, and many others.

Alexander McQueen Awards

McQueen had a strong influence in the fashion industry, and his talent was recognized even by people who disliked him. They called him “The hooligan of English fashion” and “L’Enfant terrible”, just like Jean Paul Gaultier. He was awarded the title of British Designer of the Year by the British Fashion Council 4 times. This was between 1996 and 2001. In 2003, he was awarded a CBE for his services to the fashion industry. Also, he was named International Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Before he passed away in February 2010, he left behind £16 million ($19.7 million). He split it between various charities, his family, employees, and his dogs. His final collection was shown at Paris Fashion Week. There were only 16 pieces, and it was only 80% complete.



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