SARAH BURTON, the late Alexander McQueen's right-hand design aide, has been named creative director of the London-based fashion house.
Burton - who grew up in Manchester and graduated from Central Saint Martins in 1997 - worked with McQueen for sixteen years. Having joined the brand in 1996, she has worked as head of womenswear design since 2000 and was credited with completing the designer's autumn/winter 2010-11 collection in time for Paris Fashion Week in March, following his suicide less than a month earlier.
The collection received rave reviews from retailers and the fashion press.
"The creation of modern, beautifully crafted clothes was at the heart of Lee's vision. I intend to stay true to his legacy," commented Burton on the announcement.
Gucci Group affirmed they would continue the company in McQueen's name shortly after his death, stating that the designer had set the "building blocks of the brand" that would allow the business to thrive.
Jonathan Akeroyd, president and ceo of Alexander McQueen said: "We are delighted that Sarah has agreed to take on the role of creative director. Having worked alongside Lee McQueen for more than 14 years, she has a deep understanding of his vision, which will allow the company to stay true to its core values."
Burton's appointment will help strengthen the future of the company, which continues to press forward - with plans to launch a men's underwear collection under license to Italy's Albisetti SpA in June.
"Sarah is extremely talented and under her creative leadership we are ready to enter a new phase in the brand's history," said Akeroyd.
Robert Polet, president and ceo of Gucci Group added: "Sarah has a real talent, a close understanding of the brand, and the vision necessary to take it forward. We will be giving full support to Sarah and the team in the coming years."