READING BETWEEN THE LINES: The genius and mystique of Lee Alexander McQueen never seems to wane, and soon devotees will have another piece of memorabilia to cull what they will from it.
Believed to have been created in 1992 or 1993, an original curriculum vitae that McQueen drafted at the age of 24 will be sold at the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair. The fair will be held from April 21 to 24 at the Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side.
The handtyped CV may come across as a little antiquated, given the digital age, and the reality that the designer ever needed one could make others pause. His CV is from the Alexander McQueen collection of Alice Smith, who was his friend, muse and first publicist.
The designer died by suicide at the age of 40 in 2010.
McQueen spelled out some of his career highlights under such headers as “Personal Details,” “Education” and “Employment.” Those, who only know McQueen as the master maverick that he was in fashion with his namesake label, could be surprised to learn about his studious approach.
The CV has an asking price of $1,000 and is being sold at the fair by the Brooklyn-based book seller Schubertiade Music. The company is opening a retail space in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, this summer.
From September 1984 until November 1990, he apprenticed with five different companies. After earning a master of fine arts in fashion design from Central Saint Martins School of Art, he started what would be four years on Savile Row and a post in Milan. His first stop was in the fall of 1984 at Anderson and Sheppard, before moving on to Gieves and Hawkes in July 1987. The creative later joined Bermans & Nathans in October 1988 and set out for Koji Tatsuno Ltd. 13 months later. There, he started out in a tailoring job that turned out to be a pattern cutter’s post. Responsible for Tatsuno’s made-to-measure clients, McQueen noted, “Unfortunately, due to arm. Yohji Yamamoto withdrawing all financial help, all ten members off [sic] staff were made redundant.”
Not as fastidious about typos as he was about his designs, McQueen wrote of learning the fundamentals of bespoke tailoring at Anderson and Sheppard Ltd. where the company had “a world wide reputation for the softest jackets in the world and includes HRH Prince of Wales and Calvin Kline [sic] as there [sic] customers for whom I have had the pleasure of making for.”
By February 1990, McQueen was freelancing for the Milan-based at Romeo Gigli in another post. Highlighting how that post was solely for the purpose of creating “New Shapes” for Gigli’s main collections for men and women, McQueen noted in his résumé how the womenswear was cut by using a 16th-century method that had be devised in France. He explained that he learned the technique from an “old antiquarian book” that had been given to him by his employer at Bermans and Nathans.
McQueen’s CV detailed how he was employed by Romeo Gigli on a freelance basis “and thought it unwise to return to Italy, during his brake [sic] with Carla Sozzani in October 1990. However, I did continue to work for him from London.”
McQueen went on to the pinnacle of fashion, serving as the chief designer at Givenchy from 1996 to 2001 before starting his own company. He racked up the British Designer of the Year award four times and the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Designer of the Year award in 2003.
In the CV, McQueen noted how his personal interests included collecting new and antiquarian photography books and that he also liked cult and avant-garde cinema from the 1960s and the late 1970s. Interestingly, it lists the year of his birth as 1968, despite having been born on March 17, 1969.