Filed under: Apparel
Lee McQueen, founder of fashion house Alexander McQueen and one of the most respected fashion designers in the world, has been found dead in his London home. Though the circumstances surrounded McQueen's death have not been confirmed, it is believed the 40 year old fashion phenom may have taken his own life.
"On behalf of Lee McQueen's family, Alexander McQueen today announces the tragic news that
Lee McQueen, the founder and designer of the Alexander McQueen brand has been found dead at his home," said a spokesperson for Alexander McQueen. "At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated and are sharing a sense of shock and grief with Lee's family."
To be sure, McQueen had a remarkable career, having entered it at a very young age. In 1996, when he was in his late 20's, he was appointed Chief Designer at the French Haute Couture House Givenchy. He worked there until 2001, leaving to launch his own company.
Gallery: Alexander McQueen
McQueen was long known for both the emotional power and raw energy of his fashion shows as well as the romantic but contemporary nature of his collections. Integral to the McQueen culture is the juxtaposition between contrasting elements: fragility and strength, tradition and modernity and fluidity and severity. His collections combined an in-depth working knowledge of bespoke British tailoring, the fine workmanship of the French Haute Couture atelier and the impeccable finish of Italian manufacturing.
Born in 1969, McQueen grew up in London, the youngest of six children. He dropped out of school at age 16 and to apprentice at two traditional Saville Row tailors where he learned about the technical construction of clothing. His next career move was to Angels and Bermans, designers of theatrical costumes, where he learned and mastered six methods of pattern cutting, from that used during the melodramatic 16th Century to the razor sharp tailoring which is now his signature style. After several other career moves, including a stint in Milan, McQueen received a Masters degree in Fashion Design at St. Martins. McQueen has received the British Designer of the year award four times, the International Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designer's of America (2003) and GQ's Menswear Designer of the Year Award in 2007.
In 2000, 51% of Alexander McQueen was acquired by the Gucci Group, where until his death, he served as Creative Director. His collections include women's ready-to-wear, Men's ready-to-wear, accessories, eyewear and fragrance. Flagship stores are found in New York, London and Milan. Alexander McQueen collections are distributed in more than 39 countries through 194 wholesale accounts including specialty shops and better department stores. In December, Alexander McQueen was a nominee for a Luxist Award in the Best Clothing Designer category.