Lee Alexander McQueen
Behind every successful man, there are many unsuccessful years.
The story of Lee McQueen, who would later be known as Alexander McQueen, is not much different from the stories of other famous designers. Lee was born in 1969 in Lewisham, London. Being the youngest child in a working class family, he could hardly expect to achieve any distinctive success.
Lee's parents considered sewing as an improper interest for a boy. They could not assume that their plump reserved child would someday become one of the most influential designers in fashion industry.
At the age of 16 McQueen left school and started working as an apprentice in “Anderson & Sheppard” wholesale dresses Atelier. A couple of years later, he settled down in “Angels and Bermans” theatrical workshop. The position of costumier helped McQueen to find his own niche and set his further direction.
While working for a famous designer Koji Tatsuno in Japan, McQueen earned a reputation of an expert in creating an immaculately tailored look.
Having returned to England after some time, McQueen entered Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. His 1992 graduation collection was a resounding success for fashion industry. Isabella Blow, a fashion stylist, who would later become McQueen’s muse, instantly bought his collection and persuaded McQueen to change his name to more sounding Alexander.
Being a total introvert, Alexander McQueen had a small circle of friends. Isabella Blow was his closest friend and companion. However, she was a very complicated person inclined to depressions. In May of 2007, Isabella committed suicide. Her death was a real blow for McQueen. Later, he dedicated his Spring/Summer collection “La Dame Bleue” to departed Isabella.
In 1996, Alexander McQueen was appointed as head designer of Givenchy. Не was called “the hooligan of English fashion” for his unconventional runway shows. He was the youngest designer who won the title “British Designer of the Year”.
In 2000, McQueen took a place of creative director of Gucci. The Council of Fashion Designers named McQueen “International Designer of the Year” in 2003.
McQueen’s runway shows entirely changed the vision of fashion itself. First, he told an enchanting story, and then he presented clothing. Celebrities and ordinary people, retail and wholesale dresses vendors – everyone wanted a piece of McQueen’s art.
Alexander McQueen was attracted by the aesthetics of death in his art, demonstrating witches, vampires, animated mannequins in his collections. McQueen’s favorite character, which passed through many runway shows, was the skull. Image of the skull became the main distinctive feature of his clothing line.
On 11 February 2010, Alexander McQueen was found hanged in his house in London. He left a note where he asked to look after his dogs. Later, McQueen’s friends told that he "was doing a lot of drugs and was very unhappy".
Alexander McQueen’s brand exists to this day, but unfortunately, without its founder.