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Pinault: McQueen "one of the greatest designers of his generation"

Francois-Henri Pinault yesterday paid tribute to Alexander McQueen, the British fashion designer found dead at his home. He was 40.

Pinault, the second-generation chairman and CEO of the luxury retail group PPR that owns the Alexander McQueen brand, said: "Alexander McQueen was one of the greatest designers of his generation. His genius, sometimes proactive, but admired and commended by everyone, constantly brought new perspectives."

"Beyond his capacity as a creator, I would like to pay homage to a friend for whom I have respect, admiration and great fondness," Pinault (pictured) concluded in his statement.

The Gucci Group, the luxury brands side of PPR, purchased a 51% stake in the Alexander McQueen fashion house in 2000. The designer himself was awarded designer of the year four times at the British Fashion Awards and received a CBE in 2003.

McQueen was discovered by vogue fashion stylist Isabella Blow in 1991 and prior to starting his own label worked for the Paris-based Givenchy.

The Alexander McQueen brand is one of many high-end fashion labels owned by PPR including Yves Saint Laurent, Sergio Rossi and Stella McCartney. PPR had 2008 revenues of €20.2 billion and was founded in 1963 by Pinault's father Francios Pinault. 

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