“I can honestly say this industry hasn’t made me neurotic about my looks, except maybe my weight. I hope my clothes kind of reflect that. They’re meant to make you feel good, not give you more hang-ups.” Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney proved that she was more than just legend Paul McCartney’s (former member of the Beatles) daughter with her striking fashion lines. Embarking on her fashion-designing career as the chief designer of Chloé (a position previously held by Karl Lagerfeld), McCartney rapidly earned public trust and VIP customers. After establishing her own brand under the management of the Gucci Group, her reputation became even stronger with a 2000 VH1/Vogue Award for Designer of the Year and a 2004 Glamour Award for Best Designer of the Year. She also received a Golden Satellite nomination for her costume design in the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004). Currently, the affordable version of her fashion line is available at H&M.
As a devoted supporter of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), McCartney does not use fur or leather in her designs. In May 1998, during Fur Fashion Week, she released a video that defended animal rights. On a more private note, she and her husband, Alasdhair Willis (publisher), have a son and are now expecting their second child.
Childhood and Family:
Stella Nina McCartney was born on September 13, 1971, in London. She is the daughter of Paul McCartney of The Beatles and Linda Eastman (rock photographer, musician, activist). She is the sister of photographer Mary McCartney and musician/sculptor James McCartney. Her mother died of cancer in 1998 and her father later married Heather Mills McCartney (now divorced).
Stella designed her own jacket by the age 12 and began to hone in on her craft by studying at the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, in London. In the fashion world, Stella later earned the nicknames “Stella Steel” and “Unstoppable Stella.”
On August 30, 2003, she married publisher Alasdhair Willis in a Roman Catholic chapel. She gave birth to a son, Miller Alasdhair James Willis, on February 25, 2005, in London. She is currently expecting her second child.
Before entering college, Stella McCartney interned with Christian Lacroix’ first fashion design collection and then worked on Savile Row for several years. In her college years at Central Saint Martins, McCartney made headlines with her star-studded graduation collection (1995), which used Naomi Campbell, Yasmin Le Bon and Kate Moss as the models and her father’s self-penned “Stella May Day” as the show’s song. To add to the sensation, the entire collection was sold to London’s boutique Tokio and her designs were licensed to Browns, Joseph, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman-Marcus.
In March 1997, McCartney became a chief designer at the fashion house Chloé in Paris, replacing renowned designer Karl Lagerfeld. Although initially receiving mixed reviews, she displayed the distinctiveness of her lacy petticoat skirts, camisoles and trouser-suits, which in turn catapulted the house’s profits. She began earning public admiration and in the year 2000 was asked to design a wedding dress for pop diva Madonna. The same year, McCartney received the VH1/Vogue Designer of the Year award (2000).
In 2001, she left Chloé to work with the Gucci Group. Under her self-titled brand, McCartney had her first solo show in Paris, in 2002. After opening three stores for her own line (in New York City, Mayfair, and Los Angeles), she added a fragrance line to her brand. Stella earned more celebrity clients and worked on the costumes for Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow in the 2004 movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. For her latter move, McCartney received a Golden Satellite nomination for Best Costume Design. Also in 2004, she formed a partnership with Adidas by providing the women’s sportswear line called “Adidas by Stella McCartney.”
A year later, the recipient of the 2004 Glamour award for Best Designer of the Year entered H&M and designed more affordable priced items. Due to the resemblance between the H&M line and her main line, the collection sold out almost immediately after its launch in November 2005.
- Glamour: Best Designer of the Year, 2004
- VH1/Vogue: Designer of the Year, 2000