Anyone who knew Alexander McQueen knew that he was not too crazy about the press. Alexander McQueen was, however, kind to grant to Ladybrille’s Uduak Oduok an interview that was first published on Fashion Wire Daily on June 02, 2006 and syndicated extensively including on Yahoonews.com.
The story goes like this, Ms. Oduok was covering McQueen’s presence at the Academy of Art University San Francisco. Once McQueen was through, he made an immediate dash towards the back hallways of the historic Morgan Auditoriums. Members of press, including Ms. Oduok, were trying to get an interview with McQueen. McQueen looked over to Ms. Oduok and in his mind did not associate her as press but as a fashion model (which she actually is, also). He invited her back with him as they both hurried down the hallway. McQueen began explaining not being too comfortable with the press and granting interviews. When he was finished, Ms. Oduok informed him that while she was a model, she was also a member of the press. McQueen’s response? He appeared slightly dissapointed but was gracious enough to grant an interview, albeit short.
We here at Ladybrille Magazine are deeply saddened by the loss of an amazing designer and a really wonderful person by many who knew him well. Read Ms. Oduok’s coverage below. . .
Alexander McQueen Honored as “Man of Fashion”
By Uduak Oduok
June 02, 2006 – San Francisco
Famed British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, reputed for the emotional power and raw energy of his fashion shows and fashion-forward clothes, can now add “Man of Fashion” to his long list of awards, which include his 2003 awards as CFDA International Designer of the Year and A Most Excellent Commander of the British Empire (CBE) bestowed by the Queen of England.
On Wednesday, May 24th, 2006, the Academy of Art University in San Francisco honored McQueen, Christophe Girard (Deputy Mayor of Paris Responsible for Culture and Director of Fashion Strategy of the LVMH Fashion group) and Robert Mettler (Chairman and CEO of Macy’s West and Wilkes Bashford) for their outstanding contributions to the fashion industry. The Academy also celebrated the “First Decade” of Gladys Perint Palmer, Executive Director of the School of Fashion.
Dressed in a sharply tailored grey suit that showcased his lean silhouette, a bashful McQueen accepted his award and thanked his friend Simon Ungless, Director of Graduate Fashion at the Academy, for inviting him to the school.
“I think I owe a lot of thanks to Simon Ungless who I was at St. Martins with,” said McQueen. “We studied together at St. Martins about 15 years ago. We actually started off by him doing my prints . . . I am a bit jet lagged but it’s worth it. I’m just very honored.”
After the award show, the school’s graduates presented a runway show that was met with numerous rounds of applause from the audience. In addition to the praise, some students were rewarded with something even more priceless: The “Men of Fashion” selected several graduate stars for their respective internships. McQueen chose student Ji Won Ree for a three-month internship at his London design studio, and two graduates won three-month internships at Louis Vuitton in LVMH Paris and Kiton design studio in Naples. What’s more, all students were granted the possibility of showcasing their collections at the upcoming 24th Annual Macy’s Passport Fashion Extravaganza, which will take place in San Francisco and Los Angeles this September.
When the event ended around 9 p.m., McQueen did not stop to greet students or faculty. Instead, in keeping with his reputation as a bashful guy, he scurried towards the back hallways of the historic Morgan Auditorium. With Simon Ungless and members of his British entourage milling about, McQueen lit up, took a couple of quick puffs and exhaled as if he had been holding his breath for the past two hours.
“He is the reason why I am here,” said McQueen, taking a deep drag of his cigarette and pointing to Ungless, who stared back at his low-key honoree with the same McQueen-like indifference. “I have known him from way back.”
And with that, the mysterious and painfully shy designer firmly, but politely, announced that he was ready to get on with his smoking amidst the company of his friends.