LONDON — Add one more chapter to the McQueen fairy tale.
Less than a month after picking up his CFDA award for Best International Designer, Alexander McQueen has been honored with a CBE from Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the fashion industry.
And the designer accepted the award in typical outspoken fashion. In a statement released Monday, McQueen said: “It is a great privilege to receive this honor. I now formally urge the British Government to match this recognition by investing in manufacturing and new talent — the foundation of British fashion,” he said.
The lack of a solid, cost-effective manufacturing base in the U.K. has been a long-standing problem for young British designers.
McQueen is the latest in a string of British designers to receive an honor from the Queen — but is the youngest designer to do so. Others holding CBEs, MBEs or knighthoods include John Galliano, Sir Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Bruce Oldfield, Caroline Charles, Jasper Conran and Zandra Rhodes.
The CBE, or Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, is one of hundreds of honors the Queen gives out to mark her June birthday. Created in 1917, the CBE is available to all who give service to the U.K., regardless of the job they do.
The honor is all the more weighty for 34-year-old McQueen, who once described himself as a “big-mouth East London yob,” and whose freewheeling use of expletives and feisty nature garnered him his share of bad press when he was younger. Back at the start of his career, as the legend goes, McQueen told the press that while working at a Savile Row tailor — identified as either Andersen & Shepard or Gieves & Hawkes — he had written expletives in the lining of a jacket destined for the Prince of Wales. It was something he later denied.
Domenico De Sole, chairman and chief executive of Gucci Group, which owns a 51 percent stake in McQueen’s business, called the designer “extraordinarily talented, as well as being a wonderful person. I think this acknowledgement is great.”
Nicholas Coleridge, chairman of the British Fashion Council, showered fulsome praise on McQueen. “I think it’s great that he’s been given the same medal as The Beatles. He’s been just as influential, probably more so,” he told WWD.Born in London’s East End in 1969, McQueen left school at 16 and worked on Savile Row mastering the methods of pattern cutting, some of which date back to the 16th century. At 21, he left for Milan to work for Romeo Gigli before returning to London, where he completed a M.A. at Central St Martins School of Art. After graduating in 1993, he set up the Alexander McQueen label.
Three years later, he was named chief designer at Givenchy, where he would remain for four stormy years. In 1996, he became one of the youngest designers to win British Designer of the Year, an honor bestowed on him again in 1997 and in 2001. In December 2000, McQueen sold 51 percent of his company to Gucci Group with the aim of reestablishing his signature label. In March, on his 34th birthday, McQueen launched his first signature fragrance, Kingdom. Bath and body products are set to follow in September.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye