x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

McQueen fans mourn designer's death

As condolences poured in following the death of the British fashion designer, it was business as usual at the designer's showroom in Dubai Mall yesterday.

The Alexander McQueen shop in Dubai yesterday.
The Alexander McQueen shop in Dubai yesterday.

DUBAI // As condolences poured in from around the world following the death of the British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, it was business as usual at the designer's showroom in Dubai Mall yesterday. The store remained open and staff members politely directed all questions about the death of their boss to the head office. McQueen was found dead in his London home on Thursday, a suspected suicide.

The official website of his company, which is usually coloured with the latest fashion designs and models, had just a few lines announcing the death of the man whose full name was Lee Alexander McQueen. "On behalf of Lee McQueen's family, Alexander McQueen today announces the tragic news that Lee McQueen, the founder and designer of the Alexander McQueen brand, has been found dead at his home," it read.

"At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated and are sharing a sense of shock and grief with Lee's family. "Lee's family has asked for privacy in order to come to terms with this terrible news." Shutters were down in McQueen's flagship store in London, windows blacked out and flowers laid in his honour. Celebrities, colleagues, fans and others expressed their grief through flowers and tributes.

Anna Wintour, the editor of US Vogue, called McQueen "one of the greatest talents of his generation". "He brought a uniquely British sense of daring and aesthetic fearlessness to the global stage of fashion," she said. "In such a short career, Alexander McQueen's influence was astonishing from street style to music culture and the world's museums. His passing marks an insurmountable loss." A spokesman for the model Kate Moss said she was "shocked and devastated".

The actress Kirstie Alley was one of many to make her own tribute on the social networking service Twitter. "Alexander McQueen, you made big bottomed and not-so-big bottomed girls all over the world look stunning," she wrote. Staff at the Dubai showroom said no arrangements for customers to express their condolences had yet been made. Shoppers walked into the store as usual, but some asked about the fate of the brand.

"I saw the news this morning," said Katie Sprung, 33, an American tourist. "It's a tragedy because he was talented and I liked his clothes. I could never afford them, but I liked them." She said that McQueen's designs were very popular in the US. Others said the news of McQueen's death made them curious to see his designs and even buy them. "I never knew he had a showroom in Dubai Mall," said Martin Bayton, 28, an expatriate resident of Dubai.

"I am thinking of checking it out since a lot is being said about his work in the media over the last few days. It might be a good time to buy." Apart from the showroom in Dubai, clothes of Alexander McQueen are sold at several stores throughout the UAE. pmenon@thenational.ae