Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton quits after two decades

British fashion house Alexander McQueen is losing its artistic director Sarah Burton who has been in charge for more than 20 years, parent company Kering announced on Monday.

The 49-year-old British designer took over the reins after the suicide of its founder, Lee Alexander McQueen, in 2010.

She distinguished herself the following year by designing the wedding dress of Kate Middleton for marriage to Prince William.

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

She “kept and continued Lee’s heritage, attention to detail and unique vision, while adding her own personal, highly creative touch,” said Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, which also includes flagship labels Gucci and Saint Laurent.

Her last show will be the Spring-Summer collection at Paris Fashion Week later this month, Kering said, adding that “a new creative organisation” will be announced “in due course”.

The change comes amid a downturn for the luxury giant.

It saw a 10 percent drop in net profits in the first half of the year, driven largely by a decline in Gucci sales.

Gucci’s CEO since 2015, Marco Bizzarri, is leaving the group on September 23, almost a year after the announcement of the departure of the label’s artistic director Alessandro Michele.

“I am so proud of everything I’ve done and of my incredible team,” Burton said in the statement.

“Above all I want to thank Lee Alexander McQueen. He taught me so much and I am eternally grateful to him. I am looking forward to the future and my next chapter,” she added.