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2010 February 11

Alexander McQueen Dies

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(NEW YORK) Alexander McQueen has commited suicide. The beloved 40-year-old British designer took his own life weeks before he was to show his collection on March 9th at Paris Fashion Week. His mother, Joyce McQueen, had died just days before. Isabella Blow, the woman who discovered McQueen, committed suicide three years prior in May 2007 after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Following her tragic death, McQueen dedicated his S/S 2008 collection to his dear friend. A press release has been issued from McQueen's family and it reads: “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. 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. Lee’s family has asked for privacy in order to come to terms with this terrible news and we hope the media will respect this.”

Alexander McQueen, originally named Lee Alexander McQueen, was born on March 17, 1969 in the East End of London. His fashion designer dreams began at an early age with dresses he'd sew for his three sisters. Later at the age of sixteen, he developed his technical skills during an apprenticeship at Savile Row where he fit high-profile clients such as Prince Charles. Upon graduating from Central Saint Martens College of Art and Design, McQueen started his brand with the help of Isabella Blow, and quickly became known as l'enfant terrible for his controversial, passionate, and often shocking collections. Most recently, Cathy Horyn heralded his SS 2010 collection as "impressive" and "extraordinary."

On top of his own successful brand, fashion's bad boy became Chief Designer at Givenchy between 1996-2001; he split from the infamous fashion house due to creative differences. Throughout his career, McQueen won the British Designer of the Year award four times from 1996-2003, was awarded the CBE by her Majesty the Queen in 2003, and named International Designer of the Year by the CFDA in 2003.


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