Gucci Appoints Sarah Burton to Become Alexander McQueen’s Saint-Laurent

By now, most people are aware of the sad, untimely death of Alexander McQueen. When the Gucci Group, the parent company of the Alexander McQueen label, formally announced that the brand would continue much of the speculation turned to which designer would have the tailoring chops and creative sensibilities to carry the label forward.

Many of the people commenting on various blogs and websites tossed out Olivier Theysken’s name, but the speculation grew loudest around Gareth Pugh, whose striking, sometimes gothic designs share some of the elegant macabre sensibilities of McQueen’s designs. But that wasn’t the only element that inspired such wonder at McQueen’s pieces. There’s the impeccable Savile Row tailoring and unique prints among other things, so when Pugh denied the rumors of being considered as a replacement it wasn’t too much of a surprise.

Today, there are reports that Sarah Burton, who was often mentioned as being McQueen’s creative right hand, will soon be named Creative Director of Alexander McQueen. {WWD}

While her name sometimes made it into previous conversations on the subject, many people won’t be familiar with her name, but she could prove to be the smartest choice. Formerly head of womenswear for the label, Burton is a graduate of Central St. Martin’s (McQueen’s alma mater), and most important, worked with the designer for more than 10 years which is nearly all of McQueen’s professional career.

We mentioned in an earlier piece that McQueen’s passing didn’t have to mean the demise of the company if the Gucci Group followed examples set by the houses of Dior and Versace, which both maintained their influence after the unexpected deaths of strong head designers. In the case of Dior, his successor Yves Saint-Laurent not only continued the Dior legacy, but was successful in creating his own.

Only time will tell what Burton’s appointment will mean for the label, but her work on completing McQueen’s final collection after his death won critical acclaim. In a statement, Burton said that “creation of modern, beautifully crafted clothes was at the heart of Lee’s vision. I intend to stay true to his legacy.”

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