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>> Alexander McQueen Samples Recalled, Speculation on Company's Future Rises —This morning, Alexander McQueen's director of communications sent out an urgent message requesting all samples be sent back "asap" because securing "all items and garments from current and past collections" is their "immediate priority."  Gucci Group remains mum on the future of McQueen the company — save CEO Robert Polet's emailed statement on the subject, which read: "What I can say is that there is a team at Alexander McQueen that has enormous talent and energy and passion that Lee was extremely proud of and I am too." A number of articles are popping up, citing luxury consultants and analysts who find the designer and his brand too inextricably linked for the company to survive without him. Noted one: "I think PPR will use this as a pretext to walk away from the McQueen brand, which has never really made any money anyway. The label just hasn't been around for long enough to be able to survive in the long term now that he is no longer there. A brand needs to have a history to live on in these circumstances and Alexander McQueen's brand doesn't have enough of a history. It's comparatively recent and its roots are not deep enough." [Heard on the Runway, Bloomberg, Times UK, AP]

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