Lee Alexander McQueen (17 March 1969 – 11 February 2010) was a British fashion designer and couturier. He is known for having worked as chief designer at Givenchy from 1996 to 2001 and for founding his own Alexander McQueen label. His achievements in fashion earned him four British Designer of the Year awards (1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003), as well as the CFDA’s International Designer of the Year award in 2003.
Born on 17 March 1969 in Lewisham, London, to Scottish taxi driver Ronald and social science teacher Joyce, McQueen was the youngest of six children. While he reportedly grew up in a council flat, the McQueens had lived in a terraced house in Stratford since McQueen was less than a year old. He attended Carpenters Road Primary School, started making dresses for his three sisters at a young age, and announced his intention to become a fashion designer.
1. I THINK THE IDEA OF MIXING LUXURY AND MASS-MARKET FASHION IS VERY MODERN, VERY NOW – NO ONE WEARS HEAD-TO-TOE DESIGNER ANYMORE.
2. OF COURSE I MAKE MISTAKES. I’M HUMAN. IF I DIDN’T MAKE MISTAKES, I’D NEVER LEARN. YOU CAN ONLY GO FORWARD BY MAKING MISTAKES.
3. GIVE ME TIME AND I’LL GIVE YOU A REVOLUTION.
4. THE TURNOVER OF FASHION IS JUST SO QUICK AND SO THROWAWAY, AND I THINK THAT IS A BIG PART OF THE PROBLEM. THERE IS NO LONGEVITY.
5. I WORK WITH PEOPLE I ADMIRE AND RESPECT. IT’S NEVER BECAUSE OF WHO THEY ARE.
6. I CAN’T GET SUCKED INTO THAT CELEBRITY THING, BECAUSE I THINK IT’S JUST CRASS.
7. IT’S NOT MY VISION WHEN I COVER A WOMAN’S FACE WITH A CHADOR. I GOT THE IDEA FROM A ‘NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’ PHOTO. I’M JUST SHOWING THEIR PLIGHT IN THE WORLD.
8. IT’S GOOD TO KNOW WHERE YOU COME FROM. IT MAKES YOU WHAT YOU ARE TODAY. IT’S DNA, IT’S IN YOUR BLOOD.
9. IT’S GOOD TO KNOW WHERE YOU COME FROM. IT MAKES YOU WHAT YOU ARE TODAY. IT’S DNA, IT’S IN YOUR BLOOD.
10. RAP MUSIC’S BEEN AROUND FOR TOO LONG NOW TO BE INSPIRATIONAL. THE WORDS ARE, BUT THE MUSIC ISN’T.
11. YOU CAN ONLY GO FORWARD BY MAKING MISTAKES.
12. MENSWEAR IS ABOUT SUBTLETY. IT’S ABOUT GOOD STYLE AND GOOD TASTE.
13. I’VE HAD GOOD TIMES; I’VE HAD BAD TIMES.
14. WHEN A WOMAN GETS DRESSED UP TO GO OUT AT NIGHT, SHE WANTS TO GIVE 50% AWAY, AND HOLD THE REST BACK. IF YOU’RE AN OPEN BOOK, THERE’S NO ALLURE.
15. I DON’T WANT TO BE TOO PROUD, BUT I HAVE A GOOD PERSONAL STYLE.
16. FAME SHOULD BE LEFT TO THE FILM STARS.
17. I FIND BEAUTY IN THE GROTESQUE, LIKE MOST ARTISTS.
18. I’M MAD IN THE FRONT OF MY MIND, BUT BUSINESS-MINDED IN THE BACK.
19. I’M NOT INTERESTED IN BEING LIKED.
20. I WANT PEOPLE TO BE AFRAID OF THE WOMEN I DRESS.
21. I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A DESIGNER. I READ BOOKS ON FASHION FROM THE AGE OF 12.
22. STING’S MY IDEAL MAN, BECAUSE HE’S A REAL MAN.
23. IT’S A NEW ERA IN FASHION – THERE ARE NO RULES. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL AND PERSONAL STYLE, WEARING HIGH-END, LOW-END, CLASSIC LABELS, AND UP-AND-COMING DESIGNERS ALL TOGETHER.
24. I CAME TO TERMS WITH NOT FITTING IN A LONG TIME AGO. I NEVER REALLY FITTED IN. I DON’T WANT TO FIT IN. AND NOW PEOPLE ARE BUYING INTO THAT.
25. AS A DESIGNER, YOU’VE ALWAYS GOT TO PUSH YOURSELF FORWARD; YOU’VE ALWAYS GOT TO KEEP UP WITH THE TRENDS OR MAKE YOUR OWN TRENDS. THAT’S WHAT I DO.
26. FOR A LONG TIME I WAS LOOKING FOR MY PERFECT EQUILIBRIUM, MY MOJO. AND NOW I THINK I’M GETTING THERE: I’VE FOUND MY CUSTOMER, MY SILHOUETTE, MY CUT.
27. I AM A MELANCHOLY TYPE OF PERSON.
28. THERE HAS TO BE A BALANCE BETWEEN YOUR MENTAL SATISFACTION AND THE FINANCIAL NEEDS OF YOUR COMPANY.
29. THERE IS A HIDDEN AGENDA IN THE FRAGILITY OF ROMANCE.
30. THERE ARE ONLY A HANDFUL OF DESIGNERS THAT INFLUENCE OTHER DESIGNERS, AND I HAVE TO KEEP ONE STEP AHEAD OF THE GAME.