Page last updated at 05:09 GMT, Friday, 12 February 2010

Fashion world mourns death of Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen on winning British designer of the year in 2003

The fashion world is mourning the death of influential British designer Alexander McQueen who was found dead at his London home.

Police are not treating the death of Mr McQueen, 40, as suspicious.

Reports that the four-time British designer of the year, whose mother died last week, had taken his own life have not been confirmed.

Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue, said Mr McQueen had been a "modern-day genius".

She added of the designer, whose full name was Lee Alexander McQueen: "Lee McQueen influenced a whole generation of designers. His brilliant imagination knew no bounds as he conjured up collection after collection of extraordinary designs.

His death is the hugest loss to anyone who knew him and for very many who didn't
Alexandra Shulman
Editor, British Vogue

"At one level he was a master of the fantastic, creating astounding fashion shows that mixed design, technology and performance and on another he was a modern-day genius whose gothic aesthetic was adopted by women the world over.

"His death is the hugest loss to anyone who knew him and for very many who didn't."

His family are said to be "devastated" at the "tragic news", according to a statement which added that they shared "a sense of shock and grief".

Mr McQueen had posted a message on his Twitter page on 3 February saying that his mother had died.

Designer Dame Vivienne Westwood said she was "incredibly sorry" to hear the news of Mr McQueen's death.

A spokesman for model Kate Moss, who was close friends with Mr McQueen, said: "Kate is shocked and devastated at the tragic loss of her dear friend Lee McQueen. Her thoughts are with his family at this sad time."

Staff tears

Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw said Mr McQueen had made an "outstanding contribution to British fashion".

Staff were in tears at Mr McQueen's company headquarters in Farringdon, central London.

Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue: "He wasn't afraid to push at the boundaries"

Mr McQueen had the distinction of being named British designer of the year four times between 1996 and 2003 and was also made a CBE.

The London-born designer started his career as an apprentice in Savile Row with Anderson and Sheppard before going on to work for Gieves and Hawkes.

In 1996, the man nicknamed "the hooligan of English fashion", with his close-cropped hair and Doc Martens, was named head designer at the Paris couture house of Givenchy.

His death came days before London Fashion Week, and as final preparations were being made for a spring collection to be unveiled in Paris.

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