Designer Seán McGirr, most recently head of ready-to-wear at J.W. Anderson, will join Kering’s Alexander McQueen as its new creative director.
A Central Saint Martins graduate, McGirr’s previous roles include stints at Dries Van Noten and Uniqlo (where he worked under Christophe Lemaire).
The designer succeeds longtime creative director Sarah Burton, whose departure from the company was announced last month. Burton had steered the label since the death of founder Lee McQueen in 2010.
“With his experience, personality, and creative energy, [McGirr] will bring a powerful creative language to Alexander McQueen while building on its unique heritage,” the brand’s CEO Gianfilippo Testa said in a statement.
The McQueen business was one of Kering’s fastest-growing units going into the pandemic, and the company has sought to fuel that momentum with a programme of store openings including new locations in New York and Paris, as well as smaller luxury hubs like Charlotte, North Carolina.
While Kering does not break out sales for McQueen, market sources say the business has lost ground in recent months as sales to aspirational clients slowed, and amid efforts to rely less on wholesale and its bestselling bubble sneakers.
Even if it remains one of Kering’s smallest brands, getting McQueen back on track would help to make up for sluggish performance at flagship Gucci (which is undergoing a repositioning under a new designer, CEO and marketing chief) and Balenciaga.
”Alexander McQueen is a House we are passionate about, and we are confident that Seán McGirr will be able to pursue its journey with a new creative impetus. We look forward to opening this new chapter in the history of this unique brand,” Kering’s chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault said.
Stay tuned to BoF for updates on this developing story.