How Alexander McQueen Reached the Pinnacle of the Fashion World


Born on March 17, 1969, Lee Alexander McQueen was way too young when he died on February 11, 2010. The cause of death was an apparent suicide, but what will be most remembered is the permanent imprint he has left on the world of fashion.

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, widely considered London’s most prestigious fashion school, was where McQueen received his masters degree in fashion design. Even before then he had worked for a wide range of designers, but it was only after graduating that he established his own label and brand in London.

What gave brand recognition to his label were his now infamous “bumster pants”, which were controversial because the low waistband exposed a lot of skin, particularly around the buttocks and the hips. However, almost inevitably, the “bumsters” gained wide acceptance in the world of fashion.

While he kept it as a secret from his family until he was eighteen, according to himself he knew that he was gay already at the age of six. In a yacht owned by a friend of celebrity Kate Moss, romance blossomed with documentary film maker boyfriend George Forsyth, and they started dating in 2000. The relationship lasted until 2007, when they separated.

At the young age of 26, McQueen was recruited to work as chief designer of Givenchy. The previous designer to have the job was John Galliano. While highly successful at Givenchy, McQueen felt his creativity was greatly hampered by the more conventional style of Givenchy. After leaving Givenchy, McQueen reached a deal with label company Gucci, which in turn bought 51 percent of his very own label company. With the support of Gucci, McQueen could expand his company. Including one store in Paris, 10 stores were built within a short period of time.

McQueen’s fashion shows created headlines for being both gaudy and elaborate. The shows were almost always sold out, and each show automatically turned into a grand production that was extravagant and theatrical in every way.

Considering the above career, it is obvious that Lee Alexander McQueen made it to the top of fashion thanks to both natural talent and hard work. It is an inspirational story to anyone hoping to make it in the world of fashion.

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