Impact on the Alexander McQueen brand

Monday, 15 February 2010 20:25

Alexander McQueen's death has thrown the future of the boutique fashion brand of the same name into serious confusion.

Many boutique fashion brands are driven by leading personalities, who by force of their creative vision - and business acumen - manage to create highly defined brands around themselves. Just think Versace, Channel, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Calvin Klein, and Louis Vuitton.

When these brands lose their founder, their survival is put into question as their brand's architecture changes. And the McQueen brand had so much of its founder's personality in it, that finding a successor may not prove possible.

The Alexander McQueen brand is owned by PPR, the world's third biggest maker of luxury goods. They see the death of McQueen as particularly challenging, because his brand wasn't as established as the likes of say, Versace or Chanel. These brands are established beyond their creators, and have managed to attract and hold talent that's taken the style of the brand and driven it forward.

The future of the McQueen label may depend on PPR's ability to find a designer with the same creative leadership as McQueen, and how PPR want to deal with almost 10 years worth of investment.

Its future will also hinge on PPR's ability to find a designer with the same creative leadership as McQueen and whether the retail-to-luxury behemoth is prepared to write off nearly 10 years of investment.