LONDON — Alexander McQueen views his Old Bond Street store as more than just a place to make a sale. It’s a space where he can park his last-minute, one-off designs, where he can see what his customers are — or aren’t — buying and where he can treat his biggest spenders to some special attention.

"It’s not just about selling. It’s about my originality," said McQueen over a cup of Earl Grey tea at a sidewalk café near his Clerkenwell studio. "If I want to put a new dress in the shop window — something I design in bed one night while I watch ‘The Sopranos’ — I can. I see the store as a couture outlet, as well."

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