Alexander McQueen label to continue

By Emma Vandore

Alexander McQueen's namesake label will continue despite the death of the designer, the parent company PPR SA said Thursday.

Robert Polet, chief of the Gucci Group subsidiary, said the collection McQueen was working on before his death will be shown at Paris fashion week next month.

A week after the designer's death, found hanged in his wardrobe, PPR CEO Francois-Henri Pinault and Polet paid homage to McQueen. Pinault called him a genius, a poet and a friend.

The designer rose to fame in the 1990s, and was known for his daring and edgy style and skillful tailoring. He is credited with helping to revive the once-moribund British fashion industry.

McQueen's label belongs to PPR's Gucci Group subsidiary, which comprises luxury fashion and leather brands.

Robert Polet, who heads the group, said he spoke with McQueen a few weeks ago when the two men decided that "we have transitioned from being the name of a designer to putting in place the building blocks of a brand."

"That means that will be my legacy," McQueen had said, according to Polet. "That's something I will always leave behind."

The Gucci group will use its combined resources to ensure the label continues, he said.

"Lee is of course irreplaceable," Polet said, referring to McQueen's first name, dropped from his professional moniker.

He said the team that had been preparing the collection with McQueen would unveil it during the Paris fashion week on March 3-11.

A British coroner's inquest said Wednesday that the fashion designer, grieving from the death of his mother, died by asphyxiation and hanging, leaving a note behind. He was 40.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death, which came just ahead of the funeral of McQueen's mother, who died Feb. 2.

McQueen's death has cast a shadow over London Fashion Week, which opens on Friday. A tribute to the designer was to be held.

McQueen was named British Designer of the Year four times and awarded the title of CBE — Commander of the Order of the British Empire — by Queen Elizabeth II.

His stunning pieces never sold in great numbers, but he became one of fashion's best-known brands.

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