PPR, the French luxury group which holds a controlling stake in the McQueen label, announced today its plans for the brand. François-Henri Pinault put it simply: “The Alexander McQueen trademark will live on. This would be the best tribute that we could offer to him.” Gucci Group added that McQueen’s last collection, which he was working on until his suicide last week, will be shown in Paris as scheduled, instantly making it the most coveted ticket of the season, if not all time.
But here’s the tricky part: who’ll take creative control of the brand that was the stuff of legend even before sales jumped an unprecedented 1400% last week? Early speculators are divided. Those championing McQueen’s aggressive, gothic sensibility are singling out Gareth Pugh as the logical successor. The opposing camp sees a romantic poetry with a sinister edge that should be carried on by Olivier Theyskens, who’s currently without a label. We’re not taking sides yet, but Theyskens’ last outing at Nina Ricci does spring to mind, with is sharp tailoring, dark romanticism and vertiginous footwear.
No word yet when the decision will be made, but it’s of small comfort to know that his legacy will live on.