Designer women’s fashion by Stella McCartney
View Stella McCartney fashion collections on London Fashion Review Blog
History of Stella McCartney
Like many top British designers including Savannah Miller, co-creator of Twenty8Twelve, Stella McCartney (daughter of Beatle, Paul McCartney) attended the prestigious Central St Martins College of Art and Design in London. She graduated in 1995 and immediately began making an impact on the fashion world. After just two collections of sharp tailoring and femininity, Stella McCartney was appointed as the Creative Director of Chloe in Paris in 1997. .
A lifelong vegetarian and dedicated member of various animal rights groups, Stella McCartney does not use any leather or fur in her ultra feminine collections. She is also committed to using 100% organic fabrics in her creations. Her fashion collections have expanded over time to include ready-to-wear womenswear, childrenswear, lingerie, eyewear, fragrance and organic skin care.
Stella McCartney has 13 standalone stores, including flagship stores in some of the worlds most fashion forward districts such as – the Meatpacking district of New York, Mayfair in London, LA’s West Hollywood and Paris’ Palais Royal. The label operates through over 600 wholesale accounts, including speciality boutiques and department stores, in over 60 countries.
- 1997: Stella joined high-end fashion label Chloe as Creative Director.
- 2001: Stella launched her own fashion house under her own name in a joint venture with the Gucci Group, a part of PPR.
- October 2001: First Stella McCartney collection is launched in Paris
- September 2003: The first Stella McCartney perfume, “Stella” is launched.
- September 2004: Long-term collaboration with Adidas is announced. The sports performance collection “Adidas by Stella McCartney,” combines sport and femininity and includes sportswear for a variety of sports such as: running, yoga, tennis, swimming, and athletic wear.
- November 2005: A one-off collection “Stella McCartney for H&M was launched worldwide and sold out in record time.
- 2007: An organic skin care range “CARE by Stella McCartney” is unveiled.
- 2008: Stella McCartney launches a new lingerie line.
- November 2009: Stella McCartney collaborates with American powerhouse label The Gap on a successful childrenswear collection.
- September 2010: Stella McCartney was appointed as the Creative Director of Team GB for the 2012 Olympics. It was a landmark appointment as it was the first time in the entire history of the Olympic Games that a fashion designer has been responsible for the design and apparel for a country’s team (including Paralympics) across all competitions.
- November 2010: “Stella McCartney Kids” is launched, a children’s collection tailored for newborns all the way up to age 12.
Stella McCartney’s Fashion Influences and Aesthetic
Ethical values lie at the heart of every collection evidenced by the use of organic products throughout all fashion ranges. The Stella McCartney woman wants comfort and style; to feel good and look beautiful. The aim of the brand is to produce wearable modern clothing that is also functional and eco-friendly. The label is ultra feminine and plays on the juxtaposition of hard and soft. Think sharp tailoring teamed with flowing luxurious fabrics.
Big Winner: Stella McCartney’s Awards
Stella McCartney has received the recognition of the fashion industry, receiving awards for both the quality of her collections and her commitment to ethical and green fashion.
- 2000: VH1/Vogue Fashion and Music Designer of the Year Award.
- 2004: Glamour Award for Best Designer of the Year.
- 2005: Organic Style Woman of the Year Award.
- 2007: Elle Style Award for Best Designer of the Year and Best Designer of the Year at the British Style Awards.
- 2008: Best Designer of the Year Award at the Spanish Elle Awards and the Green Designer of the Year at the ACE Awards.
- 2009: Honoured by the NRDC and recognised as Glamour magazines Woman of the Year.
Stella McCartney: The Queen of Green
The issue of sustainability is an important ethos behind the Stella McCartney label. All Stella McCartney stores, stores, studios and offices in the UK are powered by ‘Ecotricity’, a company that invests the money customers spend on electricity into sources of clean renewable energy. Additionally, in 2009, Stella McCartney Ltd recycled 2563kg of paper ad 1408kg of plastic. Stella McCartney is obviously passionate about the environment; tips about green living are available on her website.
Fashion isn’t all that Matters: Stella McCartney and Charity
Like her late mother, Linda McCartney, Stella is a keen supporter of charity. She and her fashion house promote and support many charities, raising awareness of a variety of issues affecting our planet and the people on it. Some of the many charities receiving her generous patronage include:
- Meat Free Monday: Charity founded by Mary, Paul and Stella McCartney. It aims to raise awareness of the impact that meat production and consumption has on the planet.
- PETA: The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is the largest animal rights group in the world, focusing it’s efforts on helping animals undergoing prolonged suffering.
- Naked Heart Foundation: Founded by model, Natalia Vodianova, with the aim of providing a safe play environment for every urban child in her native Russia.
- The Linda McCartney Centre: The centre helps sufferers of breast cancer by offering some of the most innovative and advanced cancer treatments available in the UK today.
- Comic Relief: Founded in part by writer and director Richard Curtis. Its charitable activities range from supporting orphans in Africa who have lost parents to AIDS, to helping the homeless of Britain’s streets. In 2009, Stella McCartney designed a series of Fairtrade organic cotton T-shirts for Comic Relief, of which all profits were donated to the charity.
- PPR Foundation for Women’s Dignity and Rights: Founded by Francois-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Stella McCartney Ltd’s parent company PPR. Intentions are to provide support to initiatives dealing with the issues surrounding violence against women and women’s empowerment.
In March 2011, Stella announced, along with more than 80 other actors, designers and artists that she was helping to set up a fund for student protestors, demonstrating against the rise in the fees for Higher Education in the UK. The fund will pay the legal fees and fines of the protestors, by raising money via an auction of clothing and artwork.
The Future of the Stella McCartney fashion label
Despite the seeming success and masses of celebrity endorsements, the future of Stella McCartney is uncertain. Stella McCartney Ltd, made a pre-tax loss of approximately £4.5 million for the twelve months to January 2011, almost double the previous year’s deficit of £2.7 million. This loss was brought on by clothing sales of just £434,611 (as reported in the Daily Mail, March 2011).
Additional woe comes with the imminent (2011) departure of Gucci head designer Tom Ford and chief executive Domenico de Sole who were paramount in bringing Stella to Gucci from Chloe in 2000. This puts her future at Gucci at risk which paid £6 million for a 50.1 % share of her company in 2001. Accounts at Companies House revealed that Gucci had to inject over £3 million into Stella McCartney Ltd in 2010 to keep the business afloat. It is believed that Gucci has invested around £10 million into Stella McCartney since its acquisition. However, Gucci claim that the losses and cash investments were in line with a business plan.
In 2011, Stella was criticised by designer Jeff Banks who described her clothes as “amateurish” and said “because of who her old man is, it doesn’t seem to matter”. It doesn’t seem to faze Stella, who has said if fashion doesn’t work out she would think about becoming a singer instead.