October 3, 2023
After announcing the impending departure of its longtime creative director last month, British fashion house Alexander McQueen has named a successor.
Previously head of ready-to-wear at popular U.K. fashion label JW Anderson, Irish designer Seán McGirr is coming in as the company's new creative director. The appointment arrives just days after Alexander McQueen broke news of plans to part ways with former creative director Sarah Burton, who has held the post since 2010.
“We are delighted to welcome Seán McGirr as creative director,” said Gianfilippo Testa, CEO of Alexander McQueen, in a statement.
“With his experience, personality, and creative energy, he will bring a powerful creative language to Alexander McQueen while building on its unique heritage.”
Changing of the guard
The label enters a new era with the installation of Mr. McGirr.
The talent, an outsider of sorts by owner and French luxury conglomerate Kering's standards, is a graduate of Central Saint Martins in London. In 2014, he completed his training and earned a master of arts in fashion.
The Dublin-born Irishman went on to work in the creative offices at Japanese casualwear retailer Uniqlo in Tokyo and Paris from 2014 to 2018. It was here that he helped bring the men’s collections to life alongside French luxury veteran Christophe Lemaire.
Mr. McGirr has also served British fashion house Burberry, Belgian fashion house Dries Van Noten and Vogue Hommes Japan over the course of his career.
Most recently, the Alexander McQueen appointee worked at British fashion label JW Anderson where he served as the head of ready-to-wear. He joined the brand in 2020 as the lead for men’s collections, eventually extending his purview to womenswear as well.
Sarah Burton's #McQueenAnatomy II collection is inspired by female anatomy, Queen Elizabeth I. Exploring tailored silhouettes, focussing on cut and proportion with corset detailing, rounded and sliced shoulders.
— Alexander McQueen (@McQueen) October 2, 2023
The transition occurs as industry leaders openly laud Ms. Burton’s contributions, specifically the crucial role she played in ushering the brand forward in light of its late founder's untimely passing.
One of the last maison members to have worked closely with Mr. McQueen himself, his death prompted Ms. Burton's initial ascension. She has now helped keep the operation afloat for over a decade.
As Ms. Burton moves on (see story), Mr. McGirr will steer the mainstay moving forward.
“Alexander McQueen is a house we are passionate about, and we are confident that Seán McGirr will be able to pursue its journey with a new creative impetus,” said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, in a statement.
“We look forward to opening this new chapter in the history of this unique brand.”