Just days after Sarah Burton presented her final collection for the British house at Paris Fashion Week S/S 2024, Alexander McQueen has announced her successor – Irish designer Seán McGirr, who was formerly head of men’s collections at JW Anderson.
‘Alexander McQueen is a house we are passionate about, and we are confident that Seán McGirr will be able to pursue its journey with a new creative impetus,’ said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, the luxury goods conglomerate that owns the house, in a statement this afternoon (3 October 2023). ‘We look forward to opening this new chapter in the history of this unique brand.’
McGirr, who was born in Dublin, Ireland, is a graduate of London art school Central Saint Martins – like house founder Lee McQueen. On graduating, McGirr worked for Tokyo-based brand Uniqlo, creating men’s collections under Christopher Lemaire; later, he would work on Dries Van Noten’s womenswear collections in Antwerp.
‘We are delighted to welcome Seán McGirr as creative director,’ adds Gianfilippo Testa, CEO of Alexander McQueen. ‘With his experience, personality, and creative energy, he will bring a powerful creative language to Alexander McQueen while building on its unique heritage.’
A somewhat unexpected appointment – other more well-known names had circulated prior to today’s announcement – the move echoes the appointment of Sabato De Sarno at Gucci, another one of Kering’s houses. Having previously led men’s and women’s collections at Valentino under Pierpaolo Piccioli, De Sarno was a name known by few outside of fashion’s inner sanctum. He presented his first Gucci collection last month in Milan with an astute collection he said was inspired by ‘the joy of life, of passion, of humanity, of people’.
There is no word yet as to when we will see McGirr’s designs, nor in which fashion city – McQueen has shown different collections in Paris, Milan, London and New York – though it looks likely his first show will be during the next womenswear fashion week in February. Watch this space.
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Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.
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