Alexander McQueen's death struck the headlines just a few weeks ago, and already, rumours are circulating about who'll replace the late designer at his namesake label. As Fashionista points out, Gareth Pugh is speculated to be the frontrunner, which makes sense, considering Gareth's dark and experimental aesthetic. That said, is now the best time - financially or otherwise - to make a substitution?
PPR, McQueen's parent company, seems logical to want a quick move, considering that the label's sales likely will double in the coming year. As Fashionista editor Lauren Sherman writes, "Why not capitalize on his martyrdom?" And Pugh himself is a already-respected designer who could readily jump off into wider fame.
Historically, though, these types of substitutions haven't gone over well, and with McQueen ready-to-wear only turning a profit in the past few years, the situation could be more delicate than anyone wants to admit presently. Yves Saint Laurent was an unknown when he took over for Christian Dior after the iconic designer died in 1957, but he was already Dior's protege and was fired after producing his well known trapeze dresses. It took Chanel a decade after tragedy to find Karl Lagerfeld, and Halston took 20 years to nab Marios Schwab, as Fashionista points out.
With that in mind, Sherman says PPR should keep up with McQueen's accessories line, which likely can make a solid profit, and wouldn't be hard to keep in McQueen's style with only slight changes over time. She adds that the brand's Puma collaboration should live on, along with the diffusion line McQ, which could turn a more solid profit and could be created by a design team without buyer skepticism. And in five years? Then look for a "hotshot" to lead McQueen ready-to-wear. At least at that point, people will have had their healing time, and they might be willing to buy.