New York Fashion Week begins on a somber note as news of Alexander McQueen's death was met with shock and devastation.
"Mr. McQueen has been found dead at his house this morning," his spokeswomen said. The cause was apparently suicide, though a formal statement has not been made. PPR, parent of the McQueen company, is expected to make an announcement shortly. McQueen had been mourning the loss of his mother, who died last Tuesday, and the suicide of Isabella Blow, great friend and supporter, in 2007.
"At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated," his family said in a statement.
Trained on London's Savile Row, Alexander McQueen sold his company to the Gucci Group in 2001 and began showing in Paris that same year, delighting and often shocking audiences with thought-provoking, controversial, and extravagant collections and always bringing much more than fashion to the runway. He leaves behind a legacy of surreal beauty and two decades of collections—for his namesake line and for Givenchy from 1996-2001. No doubt his influence will be seen and his memory celebrated in the upcoming fashion weeks as the industry mourns the loss of a creative genius.
The McQueen press office has cancelled this afternoon's McQ presentation, which had been scheduled for 3pm at Milk Studios in New York. Nearby, the Alexander McQueen store on West 14th Street has been shuttered with a white shade pulled down over the front windows.