Seán McGirr, the Irish designer who is a relative enigma within the fashion industry, has been announced as the next creative director of Alexander McQueen, Kering has announced today (3 October).
The news comes after Sarah Burton presented her final collection in Paris on Saturday, 30 September, after 26 years at the brand and over a decade as the house’s creative director.
A statement from Kering states McGirr’s most recent tenure was as head of ready-to-wear at JW Anderson. He was hired by the London-based brand in 2020 to work in their menswear division, before his output was expanded to womenswear as well, Kering has said. Prior to this, he worked for Dries Van Noten as a womenswear designer and between 2014 and 2018, he was involved in Uniqlo’s ongoing collaboration with former Hermès designer Christophe Lemaire.
Following the footsteps of the late Lee Alexander McQueen and Burton, McGirr is also a graduate of Central Saint Martins. He graduated from the MA Fashion course in 2014. It means both McQueen and McGirr were taught by the esteemed, late professor Louise Wilson. His graduate menswear collection was inspired by “rent boys,” McGirr told The Irish Times that year. McQueen also looked to provoke with his graduate collection in 1992, which was entitled Jack The Ripper Stalks His Victims. The Dublin-born designer also studied at London College of Fashion, and assisted at Burberry and Vogue Hommes Japan.
“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,” said François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering, in a statement. “We look forward to opening this new chapter in the history of this unique brand.”
Gianfilippo Testa, CEO of Alexander McQueen, echoed this, stating: “With his experience, personality, and creative energy, he will bring a powerful creative language to Alexander McQueen while building on its unique heritage.”
With his new appointment, all of Kering’s stable of creative directors are now men. Kering did not specify when McGirr will show his debut collection.