Stella Nina McCartney, OBE is an English fashion designer. She is the daughter of former Beatles member Sir Paul McCartney and American photographer and animal rights activist Linda McCartney.
McCartney was born in Lambeth, London, England, the second child of Beatles bassist Paul McCartney and American photographer Linda McCartney. She is named after her maternal great-grandmothers (both of Linda McCartney's grandmothers were named Stella). As a young girl, McCartney travelled the globe with her parents and their pop music group Wings, along with her siblings: older half-sister Heather (who was legally adopted by Paul McCartney), older sister Mary, and younger brother James. According to her father, the name of Wings was inspired by Stella's difficult birth. As his daughter was being born by emergency caesarean section, Paul sat outside the operating room and prayed that she be born "on the wings of an angel." Wings toured from shortly after her birth in 1971 until 1980.
Despite their fame, the McCartneys wanted their children to lead as normal a life as possible, so Stella and her siblings attended local state schools in East Sussex, one of them being Bexhill College. McCartney has said that while attending state school, she was a victim of bullying, as well as being a bully herself.
Born and raised in London and the English countryside, Stella McCartney graduated from Central St Martins in 1995. A signature style of sharp tailoring, natural confidence and sexy femininity was apparent in her first collection. In 1997, she was appointed the Creative Director of Chloe in Paris.
Stella McCartney became interested in designing clothes as a youth. At age thirteen, she made her first jacket. Three years later, she interned for Christian Lacroix, working on his first fashion design collection, honing her skills working for Edward Sexton, her father's Savile Row tailor for a number of years.
She studied her foundation at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, fashion design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in the early 1990s. Her graduation collection in 1995 was modelled by friends and supermodels Naomi Campbell, Yasmin Le Bon and Kate Moss – for free – at the graduation runway show. The collection was shown to a song penned by her famous father, called "Stella May Day." The show made front-page news, and the entire collection was sold to Tokio, a London boutique. The designs were licensed to Browns, Joseph, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. In 1998, she designed her sister Mary's wedding dress for her wedding to television producer Alistair Donald.
A lifelong vegetarian, Stella McCartney does not use any leather or fur in her designs. She supports PETA. Some of McCartney's designs have text that elaborates on her "no animal" policy; for example, one of her jackets for Adidas says, "suitable for sporty vegetarians" on the sleeve. Stella does use wool, silk, and other animal-derived fabrics in her designs.
In March 1997 McCartney was appointed Creative Director of Paris fashion house Chloé, following in the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld. Lagerfeld was less than impressed with the house's choice, stating, "Chloé should have taken a big name. They did, but in music, not fashion. Let's hope she's as gifted as her father." Despite initial skepticism, McCartney's designs have enjoyed considerable commercial and critical success. She was accompanied to Chloé by her assistant and friend Phoebe Philo, who later replaced her as design director.
In 2001, Stella McCartney launched her own fashion house under her name in a joint venture with Gucci Group (now Kering) and showed her first collection in Paris. Stella McCartney now operates 17 freestanding stores in locations including Manhattan’s Soho, London’s Mayfair, LA’s West Hollywood, Paris’ Palais Royal and Milan, and recently opened doors in Rome and Miami.
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Designer 2001 - Present, London, United Kingdom
March 1997 - 2001