Sarah Burton Exits Alexander McQueen

LONDON Sarah Burton is leaving Alexander McQueen, the brand where she has served for her entire career in fashion.

“The Alexander McQueen fashion house and creative director Sarah Burton today announce the end of their collaboration after two decades together,” Kering said on Monday. “The spring-summer ’24 fashion show in Paris in September will mark the conclusion of a highly successful partnership that began when Sarah Burton became creative director of the fashion House in May 2010.”

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Gianfilippo Testa, chief executive officer of Alexander McQueen, said: “We would like to express our immense gratitude to Sarah for writing such an important chapter in the history of the Alexander McQueen house. Sarah’s contribution over the past 26 years will leave an indelible mark.”

François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, said: “I am immensely grateful to Sarah, and I want to personally thank her for her work over the past two decades, first alongside Lee Alexander McQueen, where her role was instrumental to his success, and then as the creative director since 2010. Through her own experience, sensitivity and talent, Sarah continued to evolve the artistic expression of this iconic house. She kept and continued Lee’s heritage, attention to detail and unique vision, while adding her own personal, highly creative touch.”

Burton said: “I am so proud of everything I’ve done and of my incredible team at Alexander McQueen. They are my family, and this has been my home for the past 26 years. I want to thank François-Henri Pinault for believing in me and offering me this amazing opportunity. Above all I want to thank Lee Alexander McQueen. He taught me so much and I am eternally grateful to him. I am looking forward to the future and my next chapter and will always carry this treasured time with me.”

Kering said a new creative organization for the house will be announced in due course.

Burton, who was named creative director of Alexander McQueen in 2010 following Lee Alexander McQueen’s suicide, will show her final collection for the brand, spring 2024, in Paris next month.

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She has stayed true to the late McQueen’s pin-sharp tailoring and darkly glamorous aesthetic.

She became a household name in the U.K. after designing the wedding dress for Kate Middleton, now Princess of Wales, and her sister Pippa Middleton. She has remained Kate’s go-to designer.

In 2011 she received the Designer of the Year Award at the British Fashion Awards, and in 2019 received the Council of Fashion Designer of America International Award.

Burton studied print fashion at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in the late 1990s, and landed at McQueen after one of her instructors, Simon Ungless, introduced her to the designer in 1996.

He offered her an internship at his design house. After graduating, Burton became McQueen’s personal assistant and was subsequently promoted in 2000 to head of womenswear.

She presented her first collection without the late designer during the spring 2011 season and was applauded for adding a feminine hand to McQueen’s classic aesthetic.

Burton’s most memorable fashion moment came in 2011 when she designed the wedding dresses for the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. Middleton’s first dress was designed with an ivory, lace bodice and flowing satin skirt and train. For the evening reception, Middleton changed into another design by Burton for Alexander McQueen, which was a satin dress with a sweetheart neckline and beaded belt.

The designer also created the bridesmaid dress for Middleton’s sister, Pippa Middleton, which was a form-fitting cowl neckline dress.

What awards has Burton won?

Following the royal wedding, Burton received the Designer of the Year Award in 2011 at the British Fashion Awards. The following year, Burton was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She received the doctorate from her former Central Saint Martins instructor, Simon Ungless, who originally introduced her to McQueen.

Most notably, Burton was honored in 2012 by Prince Charles with an OBE, or The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire honor, for her services in the fashion industry.

At the upcoming CFDA Awards on June 3 in New York, Burton will be receiving the International Award, created by Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti.


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