Why it matters: Ms Burton blazes a bright path after Mr McQueen’s death
When Mr. McQueen died by suicide at the age of 40, many in the industry worried that his brand would never recover from the tragedy. Ms. Burton, then the company’s head of womenswear, had been working with Mr. McQueen since 1996, when she started working at his label as an intern after graduating from London’s Central Saint Martins School of Design.
Within a year of succeeding Mr. McQueen as the brand’s creative director, Ms. Burton designed the Princess of Wales’s ivory lace wedding dress, which is more famous than any dress Mr. McQueen has designed. Ms. Burton continues to be the princess’s designer of choice for high-profile events, including Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle in 2018 and Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral last year.
Ms. Burton, who led a fashion house in an industry still largely dominated by men, helped grow Alexander McQueen from a brand beloved by fashion superfans to a modern luxury powerhouse. Her collections of menswear, womenswear and accessories blend an appreciation for craftsmanship – her clothes often feature dramatic beading and other embellishments – with the dark glamor and sharp tailoring favored by her former boss, friend and mentor. combine.
François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, said in a statement from the brand: “Sarah brings her experience, sensitivity and talent to continue to develop this iconic brand. of artistic expression.” “She retains and continues Lee’s legacy, attention to detail, and unique vision while adding her own personal, highly creative style.”
Background: Unexpected moves among designers in the industry amid drastic changes
Ms Burton’s departure follows other changes at the fashion house, including Gabriela Hearst quitting Chloé and Jeremy Scott quitting Moschino ) and Alessandro Michele exiting Gucci (also owned by Kering). However, her move was not expected by many in the fashion world, which is primarily focused on New York Fashion Week and its shows that take place on Wednesday.
She is leaving Alexander McQueen as the industry reconfigures itself after several years of turmoil caused by the pandemic and the recent economic slowdown in China.
Kering acquired 51% of Alexander McQueen in 2001 and is currently reconfiguring its organization and assets.
The group has appointed former Chanel CEO Maureen Chiquet to its board of directors and Saint Laurent CEO Francesca Bellettini as deputy CEO of Kering’s brand portfolio. Pino said last week that his family office purchased a majority stake in Creative Artists Agency, one of Hollywood’s largest talent agencies. Earlier this year, the French luxury goods group acquired high-end perfume brand Creed and a 30% stake in Valentino.