Today, Alexander McQueen announced it was taking control of its second line, McQ, after the current spring/summer 2011 collection. For the last five years since its launch, McQ has been produced under license by an Italian firm, SINV SpA. Its current creative director, Pina Ferlisi, will continue in that role, under the guidance of Sarah Burton, current creative director of the main line. This is interesting, for a few reasons.
It’s a truism that high fashion brands have been slow to embrace the internet, and the reason they’ve been slow is that engaging in such a democratic medium means they ipso facto loose some control over their image. In a dialogue with lots of unknown consumers, those consumers can say anything! And then, other consumers can read what they say! And what they say might be not be what brands want other people to hear. And what they say might be not be what brands want other people to hear. Well, there’s a conversation currently going on in cyberspace that’s like their worst nightmare come to life — though (hear the sighs of relief) it has to do with a mass market company.