It was 2001. I was searching through the fashion collections when I came across a model with birds literally coming out of her head. I was transfixed. It was then I decided that the designer behind the birds was a visionary—creative, crazy and amazing.
Alexander McQueen was one-of-a-kind in that he was daring and rebellious in his designs. He was inspired by punk-rock street fashion and gave that marginalized crowd credibility, transforming them from weird street kids to purveyors of high-end style.
His imagination was rare, unbound and brave. He was a fashion dreamer, and remained that way throughout his career even when a crippling recession would encourage him to do otherwise.
He wasn’t without his share of financial and business troubles, but they never defined him or hindered his creativity. His designs were always brimming with energy, creativity and life—which makes it all the harder to imagine him lifeless.
Alexander McQueen sparked a generation of fashion renegades and rebels, including Christian Siriano, who design for the adventure and beauty of the art—not for the money or fame. His brilliant mind and vivacious spirit live on not only in his masterful pieces, but in the way he changed and inspired fashion as a whole.
Today, there is a dark cloud over New York Fashion Week as the industry struggles to make sense of Lee (Alexander) McQueen’s untimely passing. In his memory, I think we should celebrate the designers that dare to dream and experiment in Fashion. That energy, passion and brilliance is what keeps the art of Fashion alive. It will never die.
RIP Fashion Legend, Alexander McQueen.