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Saying goodbye to my hero, Lee Alexander McQueen

"Everything has an end. The cycle of life is a positive thing because it gives room for new things to come." - McQueen

It has been almost two weeks since I learned about Alexander McQueen's tragic suicide. When it happened, I didn't want to blog about it because it felt too personal and deeply depressing. For me, iHeartSwitch is about moving forward with technology in a positive light, not mourning the past. But sometimes, you have to acknowledge and share your pain in order to move past it. I am lucky enough to have a venue to do that and I know many of you were also deeply shocked and hurt by his passing as well, so you won’t mind if I get a little personal.

I loved Alexander McQueen's work since my eyes first watched his Fall 2002 collection stream across the web. At the time, I was in graduate school learning about fashion technology and I made it one of my goals to work with him, or at the very least shake his hand and talk to him about technology in his craftsmanship. Yes, it was a dream, but it was a goal-oriented dream. I really did see myself creating something for him one day and that idea has often inspired me to continue under some very difficult circumstances in the past 8 years.

Abruptly, that dream is gone, and I have to let it go. There are others I aspire to work with, but he was my #1. I didn’t know him, but his approach, presentation, innovation, and imagination has influenced the way I see the world. When I look at a hubcap, I’ll remember how he awkwardly made it into a hat and covered the stage in artistic-like piles of garbage. When I walk by the aisle of spray cans in the home improvement store, my mind will reminisce about the time I watched machines spay paint one of his dresses on stage. Finally, when I look at the sea or hear stories about ancient Greece, I’ll remember he left us with one of the greatest fashion collections of all time,  Spring 2010 “Plato's Atlantis.” His creations are a part of my design memory and my story. No amount of time or stress can remove this influence and it lives on.

So, today, I humbly say “Thank you, Mr. McQueen for inspiring and challenging me with your work. You’ve changed my life in countless ways and made me a better teacher and designer. I wish you fond journeys and happiness in the afterlife.”