Alexander McQueen

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

(1969 – 2010; UK) Alexander McQueen left school when he was sixteen and immediately started to work. After working for Savile Row, where he discovered the secrets of woman haute couture, he moved to Gleves and Hawkes and then he worked for the famous theatre costume designer Angel & Bermans learning pattern making , the original cuts of a XVI century’s model and all the secrets of this work. When he was 20 years old he moved to Milan and worked with Romeo Gigli. In 1992 he moved back to London and completed his studies at the prestigious Central Saint Martins University of Art. Afterwards he created his first collection. Isabella Blow really appreciated his creations and bought the whole collection, giving a turning point to McQueen’s career. He created a strong friendship with Isabella that lasted until the death of the woman by suicide. So Alexander McQueen decided to dedicate an exclusive collection to his really good friend with a brief commemorative epitaph. In 1996 McQueen became the creative director of Givenchy after John Galliano, with alternating periods of good and bad fortune. He remained until 2001 when he left the maison as his creativity was too constricted. In this period his name was associated to the world of haute couture with shocking and subversive shows and he became the true “fashion hooligan”. In 1999 he presented in London a provocative show with athlete Aimee Mullins, who had both of her legs amputated, as a model. His collections were aggressive, sometimes futuristic and characterized by an extreme elegance and a majestic beauty. These collections talk about disasters, wars, death and ruins. They exactly reflect the spirit of our times, but they can also be so romantic as the times we cannot live anymore. At every show McQueen seemed to come out from a black hole and try to point out his positive side. From 2001 the fashion designer entered in Florence based group Gucci and he expanded his production opening new boutiques in London, Milan and New York. He launched on the market the Kingdom fragrance.
In 2005 he signed a contract with Puma to create a line of sneakers extending a line of sportswear and casual chic. During this period he consolidated his project concerning the development of his originary brand opening a Trend Office in London, whose 51% was already owned by Gucci, and he became the creative director.
Finally he had the chance to work in his beloved city together with his best friends and schoolmates Philip Treasy and Isabella Blow; a phenomenal launch that contributes to the expansion of his clothes collections – proposed in 39 countries – and to the birth of his flagship boutiques in New York, London and Milan. In 2009 he created the eccentric Armadillo shoes, worn also by Lady Gaga in the music video of the hit “Bad Romance”.
On the 11th of February 2010, at the age of forty, he was found hanged in his London home. McQueen died nine days after the death of his 75 years old mother. On February 18th, 2010, Robert Polet, President and Managing Director of Gucci Group announced that “Alexander McQueen” brand would go on also without his founder and creative director.

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