Blue Plaque unveiled for fashion legend Alexander McQueen CBE on the Carpenters Estate

Posted 03 July 2023

100 local residents attended the unveiling on Friday afternoon on Biggerstaff Road, Stratford by the Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz OBE and other representatives. CEO of Populo Living Deborah Heenan introduced the McQueen-inspired exhibition at the Dovetail community space on the Carpenters Estate.

Lee, as known to his friends and family, grew up in Stratford with parents Ronald and Joyce McQueen, who were a cab driver and teacher. The late designer went to Carpenters Primary School and Rokeby School before attending Newham College; he was also mentored by Rosetta Arts' Yvonne Humble before heading to the prestigious London fashion school Central Saint Martins.

He was renowned for his tailoring and avant-garde fashion shows. His pieces have been worn by many from Beyoncé to Lady Gaga to Kate Moss. The Princess of Wales also worn an ivory Alexander McQueen dress for the coronation of the King. He died in 2010 aged 40.

Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz OBE said:
'Lee McQueen exemplifies the brilliance of homegrown talent that has emerged from Newham, and it doesn’t stop with him.

“For us not to celebrate that talent would be negligent on our part, so it’s really important that we continue elevating the brilliance that emerges from the borough and this is a prime example.'

Neandra Etienne, the project’s creative director, said: 'When I saw the connections that he [McQueen] has made and the force that he’s had within the fashion industry, I just thought that needed to be recognised. I want people in Newham to feel connected to Lee.'

She wanted to celebrate someone who grew up in humble beginnings, and that 'it’s important for the people in this estate to know that this is where he started'. 

Gary James McQueen, McQueen’s nephew, and artist, said: 'Newham played such an integral part in Lee’s early life so I know how much he would have appreciated this blue plaque in honouring that fact.'

After the unveiling event, the attendees visited the inauguration of a new exhibition which showcased McQueen-inspired artwork curated by pupils from his former schools and college. This exhibition is available for all to view for a week at The Dovetail, the community space located on the Carpenters Estate.

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