Ever since Raf Simons' departure from Dior last October, there has been a lot of talk about who would take the helm at the luxury brand. Many in the fashion industry have speculated that Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci or former Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz could be the next to fill the position, but Karl Lagerfeld has a different suggestion. The Chanel creative director thinks Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton would be the perfect successor to Simons.
"I think that Sarah Burton would be an interesting option," he said to Vogue Hommes. "She is fantastic and what she’s doing at McQueen is truly haute couture. Actually, when I photograph couture collections, I always ask for McQueen dresses. It’s really the next level. Would she really be able to bear the weight of Dior on her shoulders? As I always say, all you need is a little bit of padding!"
With the McQueen designer getting put up for one of the biggest jobs in fashion, it's about time to get acquainted. Here are the four things you should know about her.
1. She has worked at Alexander McQueen since 1997.
Burton joined the team at Alexander McQueen as the late founder's assistant after graduating from Central St. Martins almost two decades ago. She originally worked as an intern at the brand in 1996. She went on to become the head of womenswear in 2000. After McQueen died in 2010, she became the brand's creative director. Currently, she oversees the development of all collections of the brand, including women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and accessories, in addition to the higher-end line McQ. Her work has continued to gain the brand critical acclaim.
2. She gained global recognition for designing Kate Middleton's wedding dress.
Burton was behind the head-turning dress that the Dutchess of Cambridge wore to wed Prince William in 2011. She is also responsible for Pipa Middleton's figure-hugging bridesmaids dress. The classic wedding gown silhouette was inspired by the Victorian tradition of corsetry that had become a trademark for Alexander McQueen and continues to influence bridal trends around the world.
3. She won the The British Fashion Council's Designer of the Year Award in 2011.
During her tenure at McQueen, Burton has been recognized numerous times for her impressive work with the brand. In addition to the Designer of the Year award, which has also been given to John Galliano and Phoebe Philo, she was awarded an Order of the British Empire for her contributions to the British fashion industry, the Walpole Award for British Luxury Design Talent , and Harper’s Bazaar Woman of the Year Award.
4. She was rumored to be meeting with Dior in January.
Lagerfeld's choosing Burton isn't completely unfounded. It was rumored in January that the McQueen creative director was in talks with Dior. The meeting supposedly took place shortly after the French brand announced that it wasn't in a rush to fill Simons position, and its in-house design team would create the label’s next two collections.