Alexander McQueen Tops the 2011 'Cool' List


Alexander McQueen - Savage Beauty

In a yearly list compiled by 36 influencers from the television, fashion, and music industries, design house Alexander McQueen was the highest-ranked name from the fashion world, coming in at number 11.

One look from Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, a retrospective at the Met of the late designer’s work.

After the influencers put together a list of choices, the rankings are decided by 2,000 votes.  The brands under scrutiny aren’t limited to British companies (though luxury British sports car manufacturer Aston-Martin beat everyone at number one).  The second most highly ranked fashion house after McQueen was the iconic — and French — Chanel (they came in at number 15).

In light of Lee McQueen’s suicide in 2010 and Sarah Burton’s takeover as the label’s Creative Director, the hip stamp of approval is a coup for Burton, and a nod to the consistency of her design with McQueen’s original vision.  However, it’s also an interesting vote of “cool” confidence, since the house’s most public recent piece of work was surely Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.  Middleton is beautiful and important, but what makes her an appropriate future queen doesn’t exactly qualify her as an arbiter of what’s hip.

Nonetheless, the list indicates the label falls in the same public frame of mind as Maserati (no. 20) and Agent Provocateur (no. 18).  In addition to Middleton’s gown, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Savage Beauty” retrospective of McQueen’s work — one of the museum’s best-attended shows in history — may have helped rocket the brand to the forefront of cool’s consciousness.