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.
A lifelong vegetarian, Stella McCartney does not use any leather or fur in her designs, and she supports PETA. But 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 scepticism, 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. Her collections are now distributed in over 50 countries through 600 wholesale accounts including specialty shops and department stores.
In 2003, Stella McCartney launched her first perfume, Stella. In January 2007, McCartney launched a skincare line, CARE. She launched a new lingerie line in 2008, and in 2010, the Stella McCartney Kids collection was launched for newborns and children up to age 12.