Sarah Burton

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Sarah Burton
Sarah Jane Heard

1974 (age 48–49)
Alma materCentral Saint Martins
Years active1996–present
EmployerAlexander McQueen
Notable workWedding dress of Catherine Middleton
SpouseDavid Burton

Sarah Jane Burton OBE (née Heard; born 1974[1]) is an English fashion designer, currently creative director of fashion brand Alexander McQueen.[2] She designed the wedding dress of Catherine Middleton for her wedding to Prince William in 2011.[3][4] In 2012, she was named in Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world according to Time.[5]

Early life[edit]

Burton was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire, one of five children of Anthony and Diana Heard.[1][4] She attended Withington Girls' School in Manchester.[3][4] After completing an art foundation course at Manchester Polytechnic,[6] and opting to pursue fashion over studies in fine art, she studied Print Fashion at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.[4] During her third year she was interviewed for a year's placement at Alexander McQueen at the suggestion of her tutor Simon Ungless, a friend of McQueen's. She joined the company for a year as an intern, when the company was based in a tiny studio in Hoxton Square.[4]

Fashion career[edit]

Ballgown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Chosen as the Dress of the Year for 2011

On graduation in 1997, she joined the company full-time as McQueen's personal assistant. Burton was appointed Head of Womenswear in 2000,[4] during which time she created dresses for Michelle Obama, Cate Blanchett, Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow.[7] Following McQueen's death in February 2010, and after company owner Gucci confirmed that the brand would continue, Burton was named as the new creative director of Alexander McQueen in May 2010.[8] In September 2010, Burton presented in Paris the first McQueen womenswear collection she had wholly created.[9]

On 29 April 2011, it was revealed that Burton had designed the wedding dress of Catherine Middleton for her marriage that day to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. Burton's work came to the attention of Middleton in 2005 when she attended the wedding of Tom Parker Bowles, the son of the Duchess of Cornwall, for whom McQueen had designed the wedding dress for his bride, fashion journalist Sara Buys.[7] Made by the Royal School of Needlework, Burton said creating the royal wedding dress had been the "experience of a lifetime".[10][11]

Burton also designed maid of honour Pippa Middleton's dress, and the dress that Kate Middleton wore to the wedding's evening festivities.[12][13]

In 2011, Burton was named the British Fashion Council's Designer of the Year.[14]

Personal life[edit]

As of 2011 Burton lived in St John's Wood with her husband David Burton, a fashion photographer.[4]


On 28 November 2011 Sarah Burton won the Designer of the Year at the 2011 British Fashion Awards.[15]

In July 2012, Burton received an honorary degree from Manchester Metropolitan University where she was a former student, becoming an honorary Doctor of Arts.[6]

Burton was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to the British fashion industry.[16][17][18]

In June 2019, Burton was awarded the Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti International Award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.[19] In November 2019, the British Fashion Council bestowed Burton with the Trailblazer Award.[20]


  1. ^ a b Charlotte Cox (4 May 2011). "Exclusive: Parents of royal wedding designer Sarah Burton speak of their pride - and how they got first glimpse of Kate's dress through a periscope". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  2. ^ "Alexander McQueen Men's RTW Fall 2014". WWD. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Kate Middleton's dress designer was a 'brilliant pupil'". BBC News Online. 29 April 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Helen Wigham (18 March 2011). "Sarah Burton". Vogue. Archived from the original on 4 April 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  5. ^ Parker, Sarah Jessica (18 April 2012). "The 100 Most Influential People in the World". Time. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Honorary Doctorates announced". Manchester Metropolitan University. 8 June 2012. Archived from the original on 2 December 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  7. ^ a b Heidi Blake (6 March 2011). "Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen to design Kate Middleton's wedding dress?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  8. ^ Sarah Deeks (27 May 2010). "Burton For McQueen". Vogue. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2011 collection". Vogue. Archived from the original on 2 January 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  10. ^ "Balcony kisses seal royal wedding". BBC News Online. 29 April 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  11. ^ "Kate Wows in Second Sarah Burton Outfit". Sky News. 29 April 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  12. ^ "Kate wears second Sarah Burton dress" Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  13. ^ "Pippa Middleton's McQueen bridesmaid dress hits". Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  14. ^ "2011 winners". Fashion Awards 2019. British Fashion Council.
  15. ^ "British Fashion Awards 2011 Winners | British Vogue | British Vogue". 29 November 2011.
  16. ^ "No. 60173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2012. p. 9.
  17. ^ "Honours for Branagh and Burton". BBC News. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  18. ^ "Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen to receive OBE". 18 June 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  19. ^ "All the Winners From Fashion's Biggest Awards Show". Archived from the original on 24 February 2021. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Sarah Burton OBE Is To Be Awarded With The BFC's Trailblazer Award At The Fashion Awards 2019". 28 November 2019. Retrieved 28 November 2019.

External links[edit]