The tributes are pouring in from fashion editors, designers, and Lady Gaga.
Daphne Guinness, his friend and muse, to WWD:
"He had so much compassion and a big heart — he was such a friend. We would go to his studio and do simple things — sit and have a cup of tea and just have fun. We'd play around like kids and imagine that we were in a world that wasn't so cynical and money-driven." Guinness said she first met him years ago: "He spotted me across Leicester Square. I was wearing his Givenchy kimono with the dragon on the back. We became good friends. He was the kindest, shyest, funniest person. And when the chips were down he was there. He wasn't a flake. You could count on him. I will miss him."
New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn:
I found him about as complex and beguiling as any human. He was enormously creative and intelligent - and funny and rude and fearless. He said what he thought - a rarity in the fashion establishment - and very often he could wind you up, toy with you, pull a bit of wool over your wide, innocent eyes.
But he was the real: a genuinely talented man.
Former Gucci Group CEO Domenico De Sole, to WWD:
He was shy, but once you got to know him he was very open and he had a great sense of humor he used to make fun of people. He was also a very decent man: He was unbelievably nice to all of the seamstresses in the factory in Novara (Italy) who made his collection. He treated them well and they loved him. He was just a fabulous person."
Phillip Treacy, the famed hat designer who was friends with him for 20 years, to The New York Times:
"Creativity is a very fragile thing, and Lee was very fragile. He was a fragile person with a front of whatever you want to call it. It's not easy being Mr. McQueen. We're all human. His mum had just died. And his mum was a great supporter of his talent. I don't really know what happened.
Stella McCartney, to WWD:
Lee was a fashion genius. I don't say that lightly, and it is a total shock that I am referring to him in the past tense. He was a real friend. I will miss him as a mate, a peer, and as a true British talent, full of life and energy in everything he ever did.
Simon Doonan, to WWD:
He was "a provocateur, almost like a highwire act, an exercise in daring creativity. He raised the bar so high on what was even possible with clothing."
Macy's Fashion Director Nicole Fischelis, who back in the day convinced Saks be the first U.S. retailer to carry his designs, to The Wall Street Journal:
I think this whole world maybe was too much for him. The business has evolved, the business is changing. It became much more about who wears it than who makes it. Alexander McQueen was a real artist.
Elle editor in chief Robbie Myers, to Us:
It's shocking, sad and heartbreaking...[He had] so much to say to the rest of us, and we were all listening. Your heart breaks...God, it's horrible.
Vogue editor In chief Anna Wintour, to New York:
"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."
Stylist Patricia Field, to RadarOnline:
Both Alexander's energy and the fantasy of his designs were such a pleasure and at least we will have the memory of those. I greatly admired his work and his clothes regularly appeared in Sex And The City over the years. All I can say is that as from one artist to another he truly spoke the language of art through his designs.
Naomi Campbell issued a statement:
I am truly devastated to lose my close friend. His talent had no boundaries and he was an inspiration to everyone who worked with him and knew him. This is a sad day to all who loved him around the world and my condolences are with his family. I will miss him so much, he will never be forgotten
By coincidence, Lady Gaga spoke of her love for McQueen on CNN this morning — before the world learned of his suicide.
He is so, he is on his own planet, he doesn't need to respond to trends, or what anyone else is doing. He is so pure and from within and I, he just generally inspires me ... and I love when I can wear his clothes and sort of synthesize for my fans what it means to me, because I want them escape through his clothes the way that I do.
Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld to go there:
I found his work very interesting and never banal. There was always some attraction to death, his designs were sometimes dehumanized. Who knows, perhaps after flirting with death too often, death attracts you
The Loss Of Alexander McQueen [NYT]
Sex And The City Stylist Shocked Over Alexander McQueen Death [Radar]
Alexander McQueen Has Committed Suicide [WWD]
Heidi Klum, Kim Kardashian Remember Designer Alexander McQueen [Us]
Fashion Industry Reacts To McQueen's Death [WSJ]
Anna Wintour Responds To McQueen's Death [NYM]
Fashion World Mourns Designer Alexander McQueen [CNN]
Klum, Campbell, Kardashian, Banks, Beckham, Wintour Others Celeb Fans Salute McQueen [E! Online]