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Sarah Burton Prepares for First Women's Runway Show as Alexander McQueen Creative Director

Will Sarah Burton Bring a More Commercial Element to Alexander McQueen?

>> Sarah Burton is preparing to show her first runway show at Alexander McQueen, and the pressure is on. The only public statement she's made since her appointment to the brand was back in May: "The creation of modern beautifully crafted clothes was at the heart of Lee's vision. I intend to stay true to his legacy." As the Wall Street Journal points out, "Gucci Group must now make the label stand on its own, apart from the personality that made it. Whether that means continuing the tradition of such scandalous designs is unclear . . . But as a chief designer, [Burton] remains an unknown quantity." Particularly as Gucci Group declined to make Burton available for an interview.

Fashion consultant Robert Burke says that as far as runway, "I don't think anyone will be able to keep up with McQueen. I think it would probably be best to not try to compete with that. Keeping consistency with the brand is really important. Any kind of major departure would not be good."

The McQueen label only broke even for the first time in 2007, and Burton is saddled with not only living up to the McQueen name, but designing to "lift the business out of its start-up phase," the Wall Street Journal notes. But: "That could be a strong point for the new chief designer: Much of her job at Alexander McQueen entailed boiling down the designer's catwalk creations into products that would be sellable on store shelves."

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