Alexander McQueen Brand History

A collection of Alexander McQueen's work.

The Alexander McQueen story began on the 17th of March, 1969 with the birth of Lee Alexander McQueen in London. Captured by design at an early age, McQueen was offered an apprenticeship with Savile Row tailors Anderson and Shephard after leaving school at 16.

With traditional tailoring and incredible skills added to his set, McQueen then moved into an area more suited to his personality; costume. After mastering techniques spanning fashion throughout the ages at costumiers Angels and Bermans, he developed his skills further at placements in London and Milan before embarking on a Masters degree at Central Saint Martin’s. His MA collection was famously snapped up as a whole by Isabella Blow, his designs capturing the industry’s attention immediately.

Within a decade McQueen had become one of the most respected designers in the world, appointed at the helm of Givenchy and Gucci as well as overseeing the Alexander McQueen brand and diffusion lines alongside long-time colleague and friend Sarah Burton.

Sarah Burton hails from Manchester but has called London her home since she studied at Central Saint Martin’s in the mid-nineties. After completing a placement year at McQueen during her degree, she returned after graduation and remains there to this day.

Burton was announced as Head of Design for Womenswear at Alexander McQueen in 2000 and was later promoted to Creative Directory of the entire brand. Her successes include receiving worldwide recognition as the designer of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress and received Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards.

Since the untimely death of Lee Alexander McQueen in 2010, Burton has supervised the creative direction and brand development of all areas of the McQueen brand from accessories to the McQ diffusion range.

A male model wearing a McQ Alexander McQueen leather jacket.

Images property of Alexander McQueen

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert