Fashion designer Alexander McQueen was found dead in his London apartment Thursday morning, according to his company. London's Daily Mail is reporting that McQueen committed suicide, while the BBC reports that police are not treating McQueen's death as suspicious.
A statement posted on alexandermcqueen.com referred to McQueen by his given first name, Lee:
"On behalf of Lee McQueen's family, 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. At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated and are sharing a sense of shock and grief with Lee's family. Lee's family has asked for privacy in order to come to terms with this terrible news and we hope the media will respect this."
Messasges posted last week on the Alexander McQueen Twitter account (which was not officially verified with Twitter, though it is assumed to be legit) said that McQueen's mother had died and that he was having an "awful week," "but life must go on!"
The Twitter account has since been disabled, but the Google cache shows that the account was last updated Feb 11 around 7am ET: "im here with my girl annie tinkerbell wishing kerry the slag ,happy birthday in NY ,your 40 now girl time to slow it down we think."
McQueen's death comes just days before the start of London Fashion Week 2010. In a statement from the event's organizers, they said McQueen was "a unique talent and one of the world’s greatest designers. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this sad time."
The openly gay designer was named British Designer of the Year four times between 1996 and 2003. His designs have been worn by celebs such as Bjork and Lady Gaga, who recently wore a pair of McQueen's outrageous alien-like heels in her "Bad Romance" video: