If you’ve ever wondered what Alexander McQueen wears to the gym (you haven’t? really?) we can now put your mind at rest. The answer is a bat-wing rugby shirt, and narrow ¾ length tracksuit bottoms. We asked him to explain himself.
ESQUIRE Why did you decide to create a range of sports clothes?
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN I’ve been designing trainers for Puma for three years, but the shoes needed to be shown in context and we couldn’t put them with my mainline collection, or McQ, as both these labels are presented in a different way. This is a full look for a new customer.
ESQ Is this more a McQueen range, or more a Puma range?
AM This is my take on sportswear. It has the McQueen DNA, but it’s facilitated by Puma, using its expertise in sportswear. It’s a collaboration.
ESQ What is the inspiration behind it?
AM Sportswear has to be accessible, it’s the nature of the product, but it still has to reference design so I started with combat sports for the first collection - I wanted to bring strength and power together. This theme includes classic sportswear pieces, like sweats and hoodies.
ESQ How different is the range from your own collection?
AM This collection compliments everything else I do; it means I can do sweats and pieces that don’t fit inside the other collections, and at an accessible price.
ESQ To what extent did the existing sneaker collection steer the direction of the range?
AM We didn’t want to throw away the existing footwear, but we can’t design a collection around shoes! So we started afresh with the apparel, and incorporated shoes that compliment the clothing.
ESQ The human body has always been central to your work as a designer - how have you expressed this in your new range?
AM It’s still about the body and movement but not about tailoring and constriction, its more fluid, which is what sportswear is about.
ESQ Boxing inspired both the Puma and Alexander McQueen collections this season. When did you start to be interested in the sport? What attracts you to boxing?
AM It’s one of the oldest sports, having originated in ancient Greece as an Olympic sport and it was re-introduced to the streets of London in the 17th century. And it takes a powerful mind and a powerful body to be able to do it properly.
ESQ Are there details actually inspired by boxing?
AM There are references like oversized hoods and nipped waists. I just wanted to avoid the satin dressing gown.
ESQ Why did you pick the griffin as the collection’s icon?
AM The griffin, half lion and half eagle, signifies strength, power and agility.
ESQ Why did you do a movie to celebrate the launch of the collection?
AM It was important to see the mood of the collection and see the clothes moving, so a film was the best approach.
The collection is available from September - visit mcqueen.puma.com for more.