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Alexander McQueen reigns supreme after royal duty

The Alexander McQueen label is primed for a surge in sales after Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, chose creative director Sarah Burton to design her wedding dress, catapulting the label to stratospheric levels of exposure around the world.

Many stockists of the label founded by the late Lee Alexander McQueen have already doubled sales since the royal wedding on April 29.

In dazzling white satin, lace and silk, Catherine and sister Pippa Middleton’s Alexander McQueen gowns were both hailed as great successes.

Ed Burstell, managing director of London luxury department store Liberty, said following the wedding, sales of Alexander McQueen womenswear items across the board at Liberty – from ready-to-wear to accessories and scarves – almost doubled.

He said it represented a great opportunity for the label and Burton herself. “[Lee] McQueen was such a big personality; Burton will definitely get her time in the spotlight now. With Sarah behind it as a recognisable design force, I think this is just the beginning,” he said.

Ruth Runberg, buying director at London designer indie Browns, said spring 11 Alexander McQueen stock had sold well, but the wedding would help clear remaining pieces. She added: “The exposure is tremendous.”

Averyl Oates, buying director at Harvey Nichols, said sales of McQueen had doubled at the department store business. She said: “People want to get a few iconic pieces to say, ‘I own McQueen and am part of it’.” She added that customers at its Knightsbridge, Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh stores had also been pre-ordering for next season.

Rita Clifton, chairman of global branding consultancy Interbrand, said: “It has been the most powerful marketing platform for a designer.” She said the brand should now use this opportunity to grow and that it was an advantage that the label is owned by Gucci Group, which has the muscle to help it respond to requests for larger volumes.

Oates said that, by marrying the traditional elements of Catherine’s wedding gown with the sexiness of Pippa’s silk bridesmaid dress, the Alexander McQueen brand would thrive under the spotlight.

The global exposure could also lead to a boost in international sales, particularly in the US, where more than 22 million people watched the ceremony. Oates said the choice by both Catherine and members of the congregation to wear British – with labels including Burberry and Temperley London represented – was a strong endorsement for British brands around the world.

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