t's a shocking day in the fashion world. Amidst the glamour and glitter of fashion week, Alexander McQueen commit suicide, devastating the fashion community. WWD has compiled reactions from friends and fellow designers:
"He was such a great guy and such an amazing talent that it is so devastating to know he is gone. We have a lot of mutual friends and some of them are working here, and everybody is walking around crying today.
"I will miss him, and I will certainly miss the beauty that he created, and his vision and his world. You just ask yourself 'Why?' and then really the answer to that question is so unnecessary in a way, since knowing 'why' doesn't change anything. Death is always horrible."
"I am truly devastated to lose my close friend. His talent had no boundaries, and he was an inspiration to everyone who worked with him and knew him. This is a sad day for all who loved him around the world and my condolences are with his family. I will miss him so much, he will never be forgotten."
"I remember going to Lee's first show at the Bluebird Garage; It was one of those 90s happenings where no one quite knew what we were going to see, but there was a huge amount of curiosity about it. There was no seating, and it was all incredibly cool. The girls came out covered in terracotta make up and that weird proportion with the bumster, which is now so famous. There were so many beautiful things in that show - it was just relentless.
"I met him afterwards with Issy Blow, and shot him for a very early issue of Dazed & Confused together with new, happening designers. Some of my favorite shows ever have been by Lee, and early on it was always such a bloody drama getting in - that was half of the fun. The one in the church on Shoreditch High Street which was lit by candles, the water one at the Royal Horticultural Halls, the only New York show at the end of a pier during massive floods and thunderstorms. The last time I saw him was at the end of his men's wear shows a couple of weeks ago, I ran backstage to congratulate him but he had already left the building to go skiing, what a shame I'll never see him again."
"He was an aristocrat in the true sense of the word. He had a natural grace, natural patrician instincts. And he had so much compassion and a big heart he was such a friend. We would go to his studio and do simple things sit and have a cup of tea and just have fun. We'd play around like kids and imagine that we were in a world that wasn't so cynical and money-driven." Guinness said she first met him years ago: "He spotted me across Leicester Square. I was wearing his Givenchy kimono with the dragon on the back. We became good friends. He was the kindest, shyest, funniest person. And when the chips were down he was there. He wasn't a flake. You could count on him. I will miss him."
Domenico de Sole
"I loved him. He used to come to the house for dinner; he knew Eleanor and my girls well. At the last McQueen show I went to, the fall 2004 collection, he came up to me and hugged me, and he was crying. He was very upset that I was leaving. He was shy, but once you got to know him he was very open and he had a great sense of humor he used to make fun of people. He was also a very decent man: He was unbelievably nice to all of the seamstresses in the factory in Novara (Italy) who made his collection. He treated them well and they loved him. He was just a fabulous person."
Simon Doonan, Barneys New York
"He is a uniquely British kind of phenomenon, a working class lad who bootstrapped it. He had enormous innate creative passion that ultimately gave him an incredibly broad frame of reference, from art to obscure movies to history, this spongelike passion and amazing imagination that in the end informed his design. He became within a very short period of time a very cultivated person that's sort of a function of the English class system, which makes people so tenacious and aggressively curious." Comparing him to John Galliano and Vivienne Westwood, Doonan characterized McQueen as "a provocateur, almost like a highwire act, an exercise in daring creativity. He raised the bar so high on what was even possible with clothing."
"In a world where every man and his dog is a designer, Alexander McQueen was the real deal. He was the greatest and most genuinely talented designer I have ever worked with. His talent was supersonic. As with true talent, it comes from nowhere and reaches everywhere. His originality and exceptional talent always impressed me. He was a very kind and loving friend to me."
And from New York: Anna Wintour
"We are devastated to learn of the death of Alexander McQueen, one of the greatest talents of his generation. He brought a uniquely British sense of daring and aesthetic fearlessness to the global stage of fashion. In such a short career, Alexander McQueen’s influence was astonishing — from street style, to music culture and the world’s museums. His passing marks an insurmountable loss."