Like a game of high-stakes musical chairs, creative director appointments in the fashion industry often warrant much attention from both the press and clients alike, especially when it involves the fate of a legacy brand. This is most certainly true in the case of British label Alexander McQueen, who has just announced the appointment of Sean McGirr as Creative Director.

His appointment comes after Sarah Burton’s departure broke cover ahead of the brand’s Spring 2024 showcase in Paris, which saw a rousing swan song from the global fashion elite as Burton took her final bow at the helm of the storied fashion house after a whopping 26 years, 13 of which she spent in the top job.

Alexander McQueen appoints Seán McGirr as Creative Director

As is often the case with departures of such magnitude, the vacancy at Alexander McQueen left a massive vacuum in the European fashion landscape, leading to much speculation as to who the label’s parent company, Kering, would tap next for the role. Rumours initially suggested that Italian maestro Ricardo Tisci would go on to occupy the position after his tenure at Givenchy came to a close in 2017.


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However, in what appears to be an increasingly common trend for fashion conglomerates to either promote talent from within their own ranks or poach fresh and undiscovered neophytes from rival design teams, Kering has passed the proverbial baton on to Irish-born designer Sean McGirr.

This is the second major appointment from within the luxury conglomerate’s portfolio of brands, following Valentino alumni Sabato De Sarno being hired to lead Gucci with his debut showcase during this year’s Milan Fashion Week.

Who is Seán McGirr?

While fashion industry observers may not necessarily recognise Seán McGirr immediately, his prodigious portfolio indicates a suitable wealth of experience that would allay some concerns as to his suitability for the position at Alexander McQueen.

alexander mcqueen, sean mcgirr,
Image credit: Kering/Instagram

As one would anticipate, Sean McGirr graduated from the illustrious Central Saint Martins fashion school with a Masters of Arts in Fashion in 2014, and had been employed as a stylist in both Tokyo for Vogue Hommes and Paris before transitioning into the work of a designer. In the capacity of working as a designer, McGirr had several stints in some major heavyweights, among which included Dries Van Noten, Burberry, and Uniqlo under the leadership of Christophe Lemaire at the brand’s studio in Paris.

Prior to accepting his role at Alexander McQueen, McGirr oversaw the ready-to-wear operations at JW Anderson. “We are delighted to welcome Seán McGirr as creative director,” said Alexander McQueen CEO, Gianfilippo Testa, on the occasion of the new appointment. “With his experience, personality, and creative energy, he will bring a powerful creative language to Alexander McQueen while building on its unique heritage.”

With that said some fashion fans have derided the move, with 1 Granary swiftly pointing out how as of now, all of Kering’s brands are led by white male creative directors.

Feature and hero image credit: Kering/Instagram, Alexander McQueen/YouTube

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur

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All We Know About Seán McGirr, Alexander McQueen’s New Creative Director