Sarah Burton Is Leaving Alexander McQueen

designer sarah burton waves to the crowd after an alexander mcqueen show
Sarah Burton Is Leaving Alexander McQueenGetty Images

Today, Alexander McQueen announced the departure of its creative director, Sarah Burton. Lee McQueen founded his eponymous label in 1992, and Burton has been with the brand since 1996, when she joined him as an intern after graduating from famed London design school Central Saint Martins.

She was one of McQueen’s closest and most trusted collaborators, and in 2000 was appointed the head of womenswear design. After the tragic death in 2010 of the man who forever changed the landscape of fashion, Burton was appointed creative director.

a red off the shoulder dress from alexander mcqueen's fall 2023 collection
A look from Burton’s fall 2023 show for Alexander McQueenLAUNCHMETRICS SPOTLIGHT

Since then, her career has been considered a triumph—she successfully carved her own path forward at Alexander McQueen, while still thoughtfully honoring her predecessor’s legacy with spectacularly handcrafted clothes. In 2011, she designed Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, and the following year was appointed to the Order of the British Empire.

Burton’s final show for McQueen will be September 30 in Paris. There’s no confirmation yet of who will take the helm next or what the brand’s strategy will be moving forward. What we do know is that Burton’s departure is certainly a big loss for the fashion world—but it’s also the start of a new future for this innovative and provocative label, a future that will be exciting to watch.

a black coat printed with a white botanical motif from mcqueen fall 2023
Another look from fall 2023LAUNCHMETRICS SPOTLIGHT

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