Alexander McQueen, Idiosyncratic Designer, Dead at 40

The fashion industry mourns one of its most original talents

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Imaginative British fashion designer Alexander McQueen has been found dead in his London apartment days after his mother's death. Fashion and style experts are mourning an adventurous artist whose idiosyncratic designs--such as the Armadillo Shoe--made him one of the most influential designers of his generation. His clients reportedly included Lady Gaga and Beyonce.

  • Admired by Peers  Karen Hawthorne of the National Post amasses a collection of grieving statements from fashion figures. Designer Matthew Williamson said of McQueen, "He was a genius and his talent was second to none."
  • Broad Impact  Anna Wintour, legendary editor of Vogue, issued a statement praising his "uniquely British sense of daring and aesthetic fearlessness" that has left a mark on "street style, to music culture and the world's museums."
  • Melancholic Mind  Tim Blanks, writer for, remembers him poignantly as an "arch romantic with a pessimistic streak." But he says this is "a state of mind that can lead to endless disappointments."
  • Pushed the Industry  Amina Akhtar describes his influence on designers in New York Magazine. "McQueen was widely considered to be a genius in the industry. His whimsical designs moved many editors to tears; often the showmanship of his collections pushed them to feel something beyond mere fashion."
  • Lonely Innovator?  Alex Geana of The Huffington Post also collects of fashion-industry reactions. In his own statement, he writes, "Even though many designers before him live streamed their shows, he was the first to make it work and caused us to tune in. ... Much like the sudden and shrouded death of Heath Ledger we are left grappling, trying to understand what loneliness needs to overcome."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.