Legendary fashion designer Alexander McQueen to be honoured with blue plaque: ‘His genius continues to inspire’

Alexander McQueen

Renowned fashion designer Alexander McQueen will be honoured with a blue plaque where he grew up in Newham, more than a decade after he died.

In commemoration of the Hackney-born son of a taxi driver, who died in 2010 aged 40, a blue plaque will be put up on 30 June on Biggerstaff Road in Newham. McQueen’s family are set to attend. 

The tribute to McQueen in his home borough will be unveiled as part of Newham Heritage Month.

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, who described McQueen as “one of the most celebrated creative talents in the UK” and said his “genius and craft set the fashion world ablaze”, will reveal the plaque.

The Labour mayor added: “Newham is home to such outstanding creative talent and Lee [Alexander McQueen] was amongst the very best of them.

“His genius continues to inspire creatives in Newham and around the world, and it’s a testament to him that he is being celebrated in our borough through this blue plaque.”

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‘Enfant terrible’

In the early 1990s, McQueen, who was known to his friends and family as Lee, began studying fashion at Central St Martins School of Art. He launched his own label in 1992, and his work was championed by stylist and muse Isabella Blow. The pair were described as the “inseparable enfants terribles” of the 90s.

Celebrities such as Cameron Diaz and gay icon Lady Gaga flocked to him for dresses, and while, over time, he lost the extreme shock element of his work, he continued to surprise and intrigue critics with his love of colour, dark aesthetics and unusual silhouettes.

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PAesigner Alexander McQueen poses with model Kate Moss at the Alexander McQueen ready-to-wear Fall-Winter collection 2004-2005 show in Paris. (Michel Dufour/WireImage)

McQueen’s brand continues to be the label of choice for starts including Michelle Obama, Eddie Redmayne and Beyoncé.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, wore a dress designed by Sarah Burton, creative director of McQueen’s fashion house at her wedding to Prince William in 2011.

‘Newham played an integral part in Lee’s life’

The designer was thought to have been grieving for his late mother at the time of his death by suicide.

The plaque reveal follows a celebratory screening of the Bafta-nominated documentary McQueen on 8 June, where director and producer Ian Bonhôte took part in a question and answer session with McQueen’s nephew, artist Gary James McQueen.

Bonhôte said: “Lee McQueen’s legacy can still be felt to this day and it was one of the greatest honour of my career to make a documentary about his life.”

“Newham played such an integral part in Lee’s early life so I know how much he would have appreciated this blue plaque in honouring that fact,” Gary McQueen added.

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