Thursday, February 18, 2010

McQueen's label and show will go on.

From The Cut
Alexander McQueen committed suicide one week ago today, but his label will continue to operate, Gucci Group president and CEO Robert Polet announced today. The designer is said to have pretty much finished his fall 2010 collection, and Polet said the house will show it at Paris Fashion Week on March 11. "We believe in the future of the brand," Polet said. "Lee was very proud of the people working in his company, and so am I." Gucci Group bought a 51 percent stake in McQueen in 2000.

Polet said he spoke with McQueen a few weeks ago. They concluded that "we have transitioned from being the name of a designer to putting in place the building blocks of a brand."

"That means that will be my legacy," McQueen had said, according to Polet. "That's something I will always leave behind." The Gucci group will use its combined resources to ensure the label continues, he said.
"Lee is of course irreplaceable," Polet said, referring to McQueen's first name, dropped from his professional moniker.

No word yet on who will helm design moving forward.

From WWD.com
PARIS – The Alexander McQueen business will go on despite the suicide last week of its founder and creative director, said Robert Polet, president and chief executive officer of Gucci Group.

"We believe in the future of the brand," said Polet, speaking at PPR’s annual results presentation here. "Lee was very proud of the people working in his company, and so am I."

He added that a McQueen collection would be presented during Paris Fashion Week.

In 2000, Gucci Group, the luxury division of PPR, swept in and bought a 51 percent stake in McQueen’s company, bringing an end to the designer’s rocky stint as Givenchy’s couturier at rival luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

The acquisition set the stage for expansion via signature boutiques in the fashion capitals of London, New York and Milan; a secondary line called McQ licensed to Italy’s SINV; men’s wear and leather goods, and collaborations with the likes of Puma, Samsonite and the mass retailer Target.

According to the latest figures available, the McQueen business posted 2008 sales in excess of 23 million pounds, or $42.7 million at average exchange rates. Losses that year were in the range of 2 million pounds, or $3.7 million, chiefly because of costs incurred from the opening of Los Angeles and Las Vegas stores.

McQueen’s business is included in PPR’s “other brands” that also comprises Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Boucheron and Sergio Rossi, which saw fourth-quarter sales rise 6.7 percent to 130.4 million euros, or $192.6 million at average exchange rates.

The McQueen company’s stated goal in 2008 was to generate annual sales of 200 million euros by 2013, primarily via ready-to-wear. Accessories account for about one-third of the business.

For complete coverage, see Friday’s WWD.

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