Stella McCartney: Fashion Designer, Activist, Commited Vegetarian - Fashion Worldwide

Stella McCartney is a British fashion designer best known for her eponymous label. Born in September, 13 1971, in London, UK, she is the daughter of ex-Beatles Paul McCartney (musician) and his late wife, Linda McCartney (photographer and animal rights activist). The fashion designer and committed vegetarian spent her formative years travelling the world with her parents who, at the time, were both in the band Wings.

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Her interest in fashion started at an early age and by 13 she had begun to make her own clothes. When she was 16, she took an internship with Christian Lacroix, after which she completed an art foundation at Ravensbourne College and then a degree in fashion design at Central Saints Martins. After graduating, she stood by Savile Row tailor Edward Sexton to learn more about the craft.

She is famous for her simple tailoring with a feminine edge to wearable design. She is a big supporter of animal rights because she refuses to use leather or fur in any of her designs. Instead, her shoes are made of vinyl or plastic and all belts and bags are made from raffia and fabric.

“It’s not about what it looks like in the studio or on the runway. It’s what it looks like on a real person that matters.

That isn’t easy, but it’s what’s fun”, she once told WWD.


McCartney graduated from Central Saint Martins in 1995. After the graduation, she had a final year show and some of the soon-to-be famous international models – Kate Moss, Yasmin Le Bon and Naomi Campbell – were on her runway. The entire collection was purchased by London boutique Tokio and also stocked in Browns, Joseph, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.


She was appointed creative director of the Parisian fashion house Chloe, succeeding Karl Lagerfeld. She was assisted by Phoebe Philo, who later replaced her when she left the house.

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Gucci Group (now the PPR Luxury Group) had teamed up with Stella McCartney to develop her own label as a global luxury brand.

“In Gucci Group, I have found a partner with the skills necessary to make this business a success.

I have always wanted to start my own label and I feel ready for the challenge”, said Stella in a statement.

In October, she showed her debut collection at Paris Fashion Week. In the audience, there were celebrities like Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Damien Hirst, Chrissie Hynde and her father, Sir Paul McCartney. The collection included the now famous T-shirt with “Bristols” emblazoned across the breasts.


McCartney was presented with an honorary degree by the University of Dundee. In the same year she launched her first perfume, called Stella. During that same year, in August, she married publisher Alasdhair Willis. The couple has four children together: sons Miller and Beckett and daughters Bailey and Reiley. She wore a self-designed dress inspired by the one her mother had worn to her own wedding in 1969.

“We have a very strong school of art and design and we felt it was appropriate to honor Stella for her immense contribution to fashion”, said a spokeswoman for the university.

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She designed clothes for Madonna’s Re-Invention tour, Annie Lennox’s summer tour and Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law’s costumes for the movie “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”. During the same year, she launched a joint-venture line with Adidas, establishing a long-term partnership with the corporation. The first collection, called “Adidas by Stella McCartney”, has since grown to include a wide range of different sportswear including yoga, tennis, winter sports and golf.

Photo Source: Stella McCartney Times


McCartney would design a range for high street fashion giant H&M. The 40-piece collection was launched in November 2005 and sold out immediately.

“Her designs are modern and cool yet classic and wearable. We have long admired her sense of tailoring and femininity”,

H&M Head of Design.

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She undertook another high street collaboration, this time with Australian budget store Target. Her main inspiration was her late mother Linda.

“Mum was a big style icon for me, her natural sexiness and natural confidence”, she told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

In November, that same year, she was awarded the title of Designer of the Year at the British Style Awards.

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She launched a successful lingerie line. McCartney’s collaboration with lingerie label Bendon was scheduled to be released to department stores and Stella McCartney stores. She was also scheduled, in early 2008, to release a line of handbags for Le Sportsac.

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She has received awards like “Glamour’s Woman of the Year”. She was also named in the TIME 100 -a list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

During that same year, McCartney launched a 100% organic skincare line called CARE. McCartney launched her first childrenswear collection for Gap Kids.

“I think this collection has a mix of the playful and practical”, McCartney told Vogue.


In January, McCartney announced she would be collaborating with Disney to create an “Alice in Wonderland” – inspired jewelry collection.


In February, she launched her second collection for Gap Kids. In April, it was announced, Stella McCartney was clothing the Olympic British team.

She was included in the Telegraph’s list of the most powerful women in Britain in 2011, alongside fellow contemporaries Phoebe Philo, Anya Hindmarch and Vivienne Westwood and British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman. During that same year, she was received the British Fashion Council’s Red Carpet Award.


As a result of her long-running relationship with Adidas, McCartney was appointed creative director of the sportswear brand’s 2012 Olympic Team GB ranges. Also in 2012, McCartney was part of the book “The sustainable Fashion Handbook”.

She has up 23 freestanding stores in locations including Manhattan’s SoHo, London’s Mayfair, LA’s West Hollywood, Paris’ Palais Royal and Milan.

“As a British fashion designer it is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be creative director of Team GB as the hosting nation of the London 2012 Olympic Games”, McCartney said.

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In February 2013 she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in UK by Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4.


In November 2016, McCartney launched her first menswear collection. The collection is made up of many athleisure, pyjama-like casual outfits. The fashion designer said her father had provided inspiration for the collection.

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While her clothes are classy and attractive, they are still bold and she has a style all her own. Since starting her own label, McCartney has also collaborated on projects with several artists including Gary Hume, Jeff Koons, R. Crumb, Ed Ruscha and David Remfry.

©2017 Fashion Worldwide


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