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British fashion designer Alexander McQueen has been found dead after taking his own life.

The 40-year-old committed suicide just three years after his close friend, Isabella Blow – who plucked him from obscurity and helped him become a star – killed herself.

A source at McQueen’s office this afternoon confirmed his death, saying: ‘It is a tragic loss. We are not making a comment at this time out of respect for the McQueen family.’

His death comes just days before the start of London Fashion Week and weeks before he was due to unveil his new collection at Paris Fashion Week on March 9.

Born in the East End and the son of a taxi driver, McQueen got his training in tailoring in Savile Row, eventually making suits for Prince Charles, and won the distinction of being named British designer of the year four times between 1996 and 2003.

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