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Alexander McQueen chief pays tribute to designer

Alexander McQueen chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd has spoken for the first time since the tragic death of the British designer label’s creator, Lee Alexander McQueen, and paid tribute to his “exceptional talent”.

Akeroyd told Drapers that the decision by Alexander McQueen parent company PPR last week to keep the brand alive had been “easily made”.

He said: “Lee was part of a great team, and a great team at Gucci [Group] and we felt together that we should make that clear. We have an amazing team here and they are more than capable of taking it [the label] forward.”

Akeroyd added that the business was focused on taking McQueen’s autumn 10 collection to Paris Fashion Week, where it will be shown in a low-key invite-only salon presentation over two days on March 9 and 10 rather than on the catwalk.

He said: “We need to get [the] Paris [collection] in the market to make sure it is just as Lee would have liked. For sure, we would like to restructure but there is so much to focus on right now.”

Akeroyd said that demand for Alexander McQueen product had been high since the designer’s death on February 11 but added: “We have got to look beyond and make sure that people see what an amazing brand there is.”

Akeroyd paid tribute to McQueen: “Lee was an exceptional talent and great to work with. He was good at developing design talent and was interested in all functions of the business.” He added: “A lot of people didn’t know he was really intelligent.

His memory was incredible. But on the back of that talent and creativity, he was just a normal guy and down to earth.”

McQueen’s funeral took place yesterday at St Paul’s Church in Knightsbridge, west London.

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