Alexander McQueen is a British fashion label started by Lee Alexander McQueen, who dropped out of school at age 16 to pursue a career in fashion design. He learned tailoring on Savile Row and pattern-making from costumiers Angels and Bermans.
McQueen showed his degree collection fresh out of the Central Saint Martins Masters program in 1994, which was bought in its entirety by style icon and fashion editor Isabella Blow.
The label, named after him, is known for its dramatic, gorgeously constructed pieces, combining elements of British tailoring with French couture. Signature looks included billowy dresses cut in hourglass silhouettes, frock coats paired with skinny pants, sharp, angular suiting and darkly romantic gowns covered in intricate embroidery and lace. While McQueen took his own life in 2010, at the age of forty, at his home in Mayfair, London, the brand lives on, embodying the identity of the man who created it.
The logo of the brand is deceptively simplistic, and rooted in the brand persona. One version of the logo features the word “Alexander” in smaller letters on top of the word “McQueen,” which is in a larger font size. The brand keeps this logo from looking too simple by placing the letter “C” in “McQueen” within the body of the letter “Q” instead of being placed in its proper position.
Another version of the logo emphasizes the “C” within the “Q” even more, creating a basic design that features the primary logo beneath a large letter “Q” encasing the letters “Mc”. Just like his fashion, the Alexander McQueen logo is a fresh take on a traditional fashion house logo.
Both logos use black text over a stark white background to create a classic and contrasting look. This kind of design -- black text featuring the fashion house’s name on a plain white background -- is used in many luxury fashion brands, including Valentino, Dior, Prada and Balenciaga. But unlike most logos, Alexander McQueen does not change the coloring and design of their logo to match different product design schemes.
The brand almost always displays their logo as black text on a white background. The only time the logo color changes is when it shows up as a white text on a black background. By maintaining a minimal black and white aesthetic, Alexander McQueen grounds itself in an innovative identity with a classic appeal, creating an element of heritage in an otherwise new and young fashion brand.
The clean black and white wordmark may bear some superficial similarities to other famous companies, but the unusual letter placement adds more visual interest. The logo, strangely enough, evokes a sense of tradition and history.
The Alexander McQueen logo reflects the original designs and the creativity of the brand while managing to stand out as unique and memorable. It resembles the design of other luxury brands, in order to ground itself in heritage, but also distances itself from the traditional fashion houses by adding a twist in the letter placement, ensuring that it is also contemporary.
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