the designers

Stella McCartney was born on September 13, 1971, the daughter of Paul McCartney, member of the Beatles singing group. She is a British fashion designer. Stella has always been fascinated by fashion. As a teenager, she was always mixing up bits and pieces for antique clothing markets with Cerruti or Lacoste, or whatever she could find in her mother's cupboards.

At the age of 13, Stella constructed her first jacket. At 15, she was apprenticing at Christian Lacroix and soon after was awarded a place at St. Martins. She was almost instantly successful, with her graduation collection being sported at the graduation show by supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. The show made front-page news, and the entire collecton was sold to Tokio, a London boutique. After graduating from Central St. Martins, London, she did a short, unofficial, apprenticeship with Edward Sexton, a Savile Row tailor.

In 1997 McCartney was appointed chief designer at Paris fashion house Chloe, following in the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld. She started with the Autumn/Winter 1997 collection, and has been an astounding success. A Chloe boutique has opened in London, though it is hoped that Stella can have more control on the London end than she does on the Paris end. The rather elderly staff at Paris Chloe are pretty rigid about underclothes on the models, and see-through dresses (they are against them). Stella McCartney is a strict vegetarian and PETA supporter like her mother Linda, who died in 2000. She had a contract with Chloe that she need never work with fur or leather. All the shoes are made of vinyl or plastics, all the bags and belts of fabric or raffia. Her soft romantic clothes have been very successful at Chloe. For the Spring 2000 collection, she has created several designs with cut-work rhinestone necklines and bodices.

In the year 2000, Stella McCartney was approached by Tom Ford of Gucci, with an offer of financial support so that she could set up her own label. She agreed to this, and left Chloe. Her assistant at Chloe, Phoebe Philo, took over the designing at Chloe. Stella was looking for an artist to illustrate her new venture. She saw a 1972 sketch made by British artist David Remfry, and after seeing his work, decided that he was the one. In 2002 Remfry prepared the McCartnery adverts which appeared in all the leading fashion magazines. The sketches were so eye-catching and sexy that they blew the whole industry away.

In August 2003, Stella married her long-time love publisher Alasdhair Willis. The setting was a castle on the island of Bute, in the river Clyde, in Scotland, loaned to them by the Marquis of Bute (racing driver Johnny Dumfries). Stella's father, former Beatle Paul McCartney paid around 2 million pounds, as father of the bride. Stella designed her own wedding gown, using as inspiration the one worn by her mother when she married in 1969. In February 2005, the couple had a baby boy just before Stella will be presenting her Fall/Winter 2005 collection in Paris. They have called him Miller Alisdhair James Willis. Stella took time out from preparations for her Spring/Summer 2004 collection in Paris, to fly over to the United States for the opening of her new Los Angeles store.

In September 2004, it was announced that Stella has formed a collaboration with Adidas to design a new collection of stylish, high-tech gym wear after working with experts for ideas for runners, swimmers and athletes.

High Street fashion giant H&M announced in May 2005 that Stella McCartney would design a 40 piece collection for them in the Autumn. They find her designs modern, cool, classic and wearable. In September H & M started selling the McCartney range, with great success. She has selected one or two things from her own label collections, but of course the cost is much lower in the High Street. This should lead to Stella's clothes finding a much wider market. Margareta van den Bosch, head of design at H & M said that the company was thrilled to collaborate with Stella.

the label

Stella launched her new house with the Spring 2002 collection, presenting clothes emblazoned with rhyming Cockney slang, that had the punchy tang of a hit from the word go. She got her label off to a snappy start in front of Domenico de Sole, the boss of the Gucci group, and McCartney's partner. Her brand new 4000 sq ft store in Manhattan opened in September 2002, housing her ready-to-wear, shoe and accessories collections. It has an inlaid pool running the length of the store and walls of hand-painted fabric. There was a fabulous party to celebrate the opening. The financial results for Stella's new company for the first year of operation, were not very good. It suffered losses of 2.7 million pounds. However GUCCI, who own her label, have absolute faith in her and said that they have high hopes for her future. In late November, Stella's owners GUCCI appointed a new CEO for Stella McCartney. He is Marco Bizzari (born 1962) a well-experienced financial and managerial man. He is expected to push the profits up even higher.

Who Wears It

Annie Lennox, Gwyneth Paltrow, Pamela Anderson


2003 Stella (W)
2006 Stella In Two (W)

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