Alexander McQueen brand was founded by designer Alexander McQueen in 1992. It was the suggestion of Isabella Blow that McQueen use his middle name for the label. The house's early collections developed its reputation for controversy and shock tactics (earning the title "l'enfant terrible" and "the hooligan of English fashion"), with trousers aptly named "bumsters" and a collection entitled Highland Rape. Alexander McQueen staged lavish and unconventional runway shows, such as a recreation of a shipwreck for his Spring 2003 collection, Spring 2005's human chess game, and the Fall 2006 show, Widows of Culloden, which featured a life-sized hologram of supermodel Kate Moss dressed in yards of rippling fabric.
During his time as head designer, McQueen was awarded the title "British Designer of the Year" four times between 1996 and 2003; he was also awarded the CBE and named International Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers in 2003.
In December 2000, the Gucci Group acquired 51% of his company and appointed him as Creative Director before launching stores in London, Milan, New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. On 31 October 2011, Alexander McQueen opened its first store in Beijing with a runway show. Following the take over, the brand's catwalk presentations were relocated from London to Paris, beginning with the Spring/Summer 2002 collection with The Dance of The Twisted Bull on 6 October 2001.
Alexander McQueen launched its first menswear collection in Spring/Summer 2005 and continues to show its collections during Milan Fashion Week. The company launched its first women's pre-Spring collection on the runway with its men's collection on 22 June 2008 and has since continued releasing cruise collections since Spring 2010. Alexander McQueen launched an online store in the US in 2008. This was later expanded with an online store for the UK market in 2010. McQueen's suicide was announced on the afternoon of 11 February 2010. At the time of his death, the company had debts of £32 million despite posting profits from handbag sales in 2008.