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Celebs, designers react to Alexander McQueen's death

February 11, 2010 |  1:56 pm

Alexander mcqueen

Innovative and always offbeat, the late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, better known as "Lee," claimed devotees as varied as singer Lady Gaga, actress Sarah Jessica Parker and First Lady Michelle Obama. Condolences in the wake of his death Thursday came from many quarters.

"Alexander McQueen today announces the tragic news that Lee McQueen, the founder and designer of the Alexander McQueen brand, has been found dead at his home," his office said in a statement.

"I can't describe the tragic loss of such a brilliant man and designer," stylist Rachel Zoe tweeted this morning.

Katy Perry tweeted: "Rest In Peace Alexander McQueen. Just woke up, so sad."

Gaga featured the designer's popular "Alien" shoes in her video for "Bad Romance," and the first lady recently sported one of his bold pinstripe suits.

McQueen trained as a Saville Row tailor at 16 (later making suits for Prince Charles) and hit the big time when Tatler magazine editor Isabella Blow plucked him from design school obscurity. Blow took her own life three years ago.

McQueen's mother, Joyce, passed away Feb. 2. His Twitter page was taken down upon his death, but he'd posted several mourning comments recently. Though no official cause of the designer's death has been announced, suicide is suspected.

Victoria Beckham spoke to HollywoodLife: "McQueen was a master of fashion, creative genius and an inspiration. Today the fashion industry has lost a true great. An icon of all time. He made all he touched beautiful and will be desperately missed. My heart is very much with his family and friends at this very sad time.”

Model Kate Moss was "shocked and devastated at the tragic loss of her dear friend Lee McQueen. Her thoughts are with his family at this sad time," according to her representative, who also asked that Kate's privacy be respected.

McQueen had served as the head of French fashion house Givenchy, as well as leading his own successful label and diffusion collections.

Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, weighed in: "We are devastated to learn of the death of Alexander McQueen, one of the greatest talents of his generation. He brought a uniquely British sense of daring and aesthetic fearlessness to the global stage of fashion. In such a short career, Alexander McQueen's influence was astonishing -- from street style to music culture and the world's museums. His passing marks an insurmountable loss."

According to Tommy Hilfiger, McQueen "was a young genius who crossed between couture and punk rock with reverence. He will be missed by all."

For a look at McQueen's final fashion show, head to All the Rage

-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: Alexander McQueen with Sarah Jessica Parker at the Met Gala in 2006. Credit: Stuart Ramson / Associated Press.

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