Alexander McQueen
Sean McGirr becomes only its third creative director since the label was founded in 1992. AFP

British fashion house Alexander McQueen on Thursday announced the appointment of a new head designer, Sean McGirr, replacing Sarah Burton who had led the label since the death of its founder.

The Irish-born McGirr is not a household name in the fashion world, but was head of ready-to-wear at JW Anderson until recently, and also had stints at Dries Van Noten and Burberry.

Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of parent group Kering, said: "Alexander McQueen is a house we are passionate about. We are confident that Sean McGirr will be able to pursue its journey with a new creative impetus."

McGirr replaces Burton, who held her final show for the brand at the just-concluded Paris Fashion Week, with a notable starring role from Naomi Campbell on the catwalk.

Business of Fashion called it a "typically fearless final flourish from Burton", adding that it would be a tough act to follow.

She joined the label in 1996, just four years after it was founded, and became head of women's collections in 2000.

Burton took over as creative director after the suicide of its founder, Lee Alexander McQueen, in 2010, and distinguished herself the following year by designing the wedding dress of Kate Middleton for her marriage to Prince William.

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