Lee Alexander McQueen CBE was born in London on 17 March 1969, the youngest of six children. He left school at the age of 16 to begin an apprenticeship with Anderson & Sheppard and then at Gieves & Hawkes on Savile Row in London. From there he moved to the theatrical costumiers Angels and Bermans, where he mastered 6 methods of pattern cutting from the melodramatic 16th Century, to the razor sharp tailoring which has become a McQueen signature.
After persuading his way onto the MA Fashion Design at Central St Martins, Lee showed his MA collection in 1992, which was bought in its entirety by Isabella Blow. He began the Alexander McQueen label in 1994 and continually pushed the limits of fashion until, in October 1996 he was appointed Chief Designer at the French Haute Couture House Givenchy where he worked until March of 2001.
Sarabande Foundation was established because Lee passionately believed that creative minds with the potential to push boundaries should be given the same opportunities he’d enjoyed. Named after McQueen’s 2007 Spring/Summer collection, the foundation provides scholarships to students at graduate and postgraduate level as well as housing artist studios at Sarabande HQ for designers, artists and jewellers.
Sarabande is there to observe and facilitate – the partners and friends of Lee are there to guide and inspire. The space is a place where it’s safe to experiment, to succeed, to fail but always to move forward.
The genesis of all Lee’s achievements was his open-minded approach to absorbing diverse creative influences and applying them in new and exciting ways. It is that openness and bravery that Sarabande seeks to inspire in future generations of creatives