Designer Alexander McQueen found dead of apparent suicide

Designer Alexander McQueen found dead of apparent suicide

Alexander McQueen, the gay fashion designer, has been found dead after taking his own life. He was 40 years old.

A source at the designer’s office today confirmed his death, which was followed by a brief statement on the designer’s website.

McQueen was renown for dressing stars such as Kylie and Lady Gaga, and had once described himself as the “pink sheep” of his family.

He was found dead at his home in Green Park, London.

McQueen worked as the head designer at Givenchy for five years before founding the Alexander McQueen and McQ labels. McQueen’s dramatic designs met with critical acclaim and earned him the British Fashion Designer of the Year award four times.

Born Lee Alexander McQueen in London’s east end in 1969, he was the son of a taxi driver and the youngest of six children.

He left school at 16 to work at the Savile Row tailors Anderson & Sheppard, who counted among their clients Prince Charles and former Soviet president Mikhail Gobachev.

Following the stint at Savile Row, he went on to work at Gieves & Hawkes, and then worked in both Japan and Italy.

He later studied at Central Saint Martin’s fashion school in London, and upon graduating McQueen set up his own label in the city’ s East End. He made himself famous with “bumsters” trousers, with a low waistband to reveal the underwear and buttocks underneath, starting a trend which continues to be popular to this day.

McQueen was appointed chief designer at French label Givenchy in October 1996, and in December 2000 he became the creative director for Gucci, which acquired 51% of his company, Alexander McQueen.

In his personal life, McQueen was openly gay, and claimed he had realized his sexual orientation when he was six, however it was not until he was eighteen that he came out to his family.

In the summer 2000, McQueen married his partner George Forsyth, 24, a documentary filmmaker, on a yacht in Ibiza; the relationship ended a few years later.

On February 3, McQueen wrote on his Twitter page that his mother had died the day before, adding: “RIP mumxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.”

Four days later he wrote that he had had an “awful week” but said “friends have been great”, adding: “now i have to some how pull myself together”. His mother’s funeral is due to take place tomorrow.

More on the designer’s life from the BBC.

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