Three days after Sarah Burton showed her final Alexander McQueen collection at Paris Fashion Week, the brand’s parent company named Sean McGirr, an Irish designer, as her successor.
“Alexander McQueen is a house we are passionate about, and we are confident that Sean McGirr will be able to pursue its journey with a new creative impetus,” François-Henri Pinault, the chief executive of Kering, said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Mr. McGirr most recently was head of ready-to-wear at the British label JW Anderson. He has also worked at Dries Van Noten, Burberry and Uniqlo. He is a graduate of Central Saint Martins in London, where Ms. Burton graduated from before starting her 26-year career at Alexander McQueen as an intern in 1996.
In the statement, Gianfilippo Testa, the chief executive of Alexander McQueen, cited Mr. McGirr’s “experience, personality and creativity” as reasons for hiring him. The statement did not specify when Mr. McGirr would start.
By appointing Mr. McGirr as creative director at Alexander McQueen, Mr. Pinault has continued a trend he helped start among fashion-industry executives to favor relatively unknown designers over splashier names for top positions at big houses. Earlier this year, Mr. Pinault hired Sabato de Sarno, a former director of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear at Valentino, to take over at Gucci. In 2021, Mr. Pinault promoted Matthieu Blazy to head of Bottega Veneta, where he had been a design director.
On social media, initial reactions to the announcement of Mr. McGirr’s appointment were mixed. Some noted that it took place just days after Ms. Burton took an emotional bow at her final runway show, which she had dedicated to the brand’s founder, Lee Alexander McQueen, who died by suicide at 40 in 2010. At the show, notes left on every seat said Mr. McQueen’s “wish was always to empower women.”
1 Granary, an online publication started by students at Central Saint Martins, wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that with Mr. McGirr’s appointment, the creative directors at Kering’s six fashion brands are now white men.