British fashion designer Alexander McQueen was found dead from an apparent suicide earlier today in his London home. He was 40 years old. His death comes just as designers in NYC have been gearing up to unveil their Fall 2010 collections for New York Fashion Week. McQueen was scheduled to show his line in Paris this March.

Details are sketchy at the moment, but a statement has been released from his office:

On behalf of Lee McQueen’s family, Alexander McQueen today announces the tragic news that Lee McQueen, the founder and designer of the Alexander McQueen brand has been found dead at his home.

At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated and are sharing a sense of shock and grief with Lee’s family. Lee’s family has asked for privacy in order to come to terms with this terrible news and we hope the media will respect this.

McQueen, known for his eccentric and unique style of designing, has created pieces for too big many big name celebrities to mention. Prior to his death, he had been battling depression following the passing of his mother.

Mr. McQueen’s most recent Twitter messages, which were removed after news of his death, were filled with foreboding. On Feb. 3 he had announced the death one day earlier of his mother, Joyce, who was front row at all his shows. Then, on Feb. 7, using an expletive, he said it had been an “awful week…but now I have to some how pull myself together….”

NY TIMES