It’s been roughly 78 hours since Sarah Burton, who spent the past 26 years at Alexander McQueen, presented a very emotional final collection for the brand during Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2024. Understandably, her final bow left many fashion folks (including team TZR) speculating who will succeed Burton. Luckily, the storied fashion house didn’t leave us hanging for long: On October 3, industry veteran Seán McGirr was appointed Alexander McQueen’s new creative director.
“We are delighted to welcome Seán McGirr as Creative Director,” Gianfilippo Testa, CEO of Alexander McQueen, said in a press release. “With his experience, personality, and creative energy, he will bring a powerful creative language to Alexander McQueen while building on its unique heritage.” François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering, added, “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. We look forward to opening this new chapter in the history of this unique brand.”
McGirr, who hails from Dublin, cut his teeth assisting at Burberry and Vogue Hommes Japan. Then, from 2014 to 2018, the Irish designer worked at Uniqlo’s creative offices in Tokyo and Paris, helping with the collections spearheaded by esteemed fashion designer Christophe Lemaire. His latest stint was at JW Anderson, where the Central Saint Martins grad began as head of menswear in 2020, and later moved on to oversee the womenswear ready-to-wear category.
This announcement comes less than a month after Burton's sudden decision to depart the Kering-owned brand shocked the industry. As mentioned, her exit follows a 26-year tenure at the brand, 13 of which she served as the creative director. She began her career at the British label in 1996 while pursuing a degree at Central Saint Martins. In 2000, Burton was named its head of womenswear, and in 2010, she took over as creative director following founder Lee McQueen’s death. Though she will surely be missed, here’s an exciting piece of information: There are rumblings Burton may be quietly working on her own brand (yes, like Phoebe Philo).
It’s yet to be revealed when McGirr will present his debut collection for Alexander McQueen — stay tuned for more deets.