Tomorrow when PPR releases financial figures for 2009, the company will address the fate of the Alexander McQueen label. PPR has been silent on the fate of McQueen since the designer was found hanged in his wardrobe six days ago. McQueen counts eleven boutiques worldwide and employs 180 people. After joining Gucci Group and PPR in 2001, the label didn’t turn a profit until 2007, though figures don’t rank in the big leagues with PPR’s other holdings, such as YSL and Gucci. The industry is wondering whether, the label having been around for only ten years, McQueen’s legacy can be continued by another designer.
Some experts say McQueen’s label can probably continue, noting Christian Dior died just ten years after founding his own label. The AFP reports:
A professor of fashion, who asked not to be named, said a label needed “a stylistic legacy, like the Chanel suit and pearls, sufficiently distinctive for it to be recognisable” in order for it to survive.
He felt McQueen’s “gothic, baroque, black emotional heritage” was sufficiently intense to justify a successor continuing the label.
However, sometimes it takes a house a while to pick up steam after a designer leaves. After Coco Chanel died in 1971, the label didn’t experience a full-on revival until Karl Lagerfeld took over in 1983.
McQueen is “a young brand, which even if it has an extremely rich heritage, still does not possess an iconic product,” in the world of luxury goods, in which perfumes and handbags are much bigger money spinners than clothes.
It would be sad to lose the label in addition to its designer. But also, who has the talent and vision to see it through?