McQueen brand to continue, as fans snap up clothes

Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:33pm EST
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By Sophie Hardach

PARIS (Reuters) - French retail giant PPR, one of the world's top luxury goods groups, plans to develop the Alexander McQueen fashion brand even after the suicide of its charismatic and rebellious founder.

Fashionistas have been snapping up McQueen's skull-encrusted bags and punky dresses since the designer's death earlier this month, but questions remain over the label's long-term success without his vision.

"Lee is irreplaceable of course," PPR Chief Executive Francois-Henri Pinault told reporters on Thursday, using McQueen's given first name.

"But even if it is among the smallest in the group, the company is in an excellent position," he added. PPR owns the McQueen brand as well as other hip labels such as Stella McCartney.

Pinault said McQueen's final collection would be shown during fashion week in March. Organisers said they were being flooded with calls asking about invites or offering condolences.

Trade magazine Drapers reported on Monday that sales of McQueen pieces soared 1,400 percent at the end of last week.


Online clothing retailer Net-A-Porter was offering a reptile-print silk dress in ice blue and rust from the collection at 2,845 pounds ($4,445). Items from previous collections -- including characteristically morbid designs featuring skulls and skeletons -- were already sold out.   Continued...