Stella McCartney: Fashion Designer

Stella Nina McCartney is an English fashion designer who was born September 13, 1971 in London. She was the daughter of Sir Paul McCartney, a former member of the Beatles and Linda McCartney, an American photographer. Stella was named after her maternal great-grandmothers, two of whom were named Stella. Stella has two older sisters, Heather (adopted by her father) and Mary as well as a younger brother named James.

The McCartney parents wanted their children to have as normal a childhood as possible. It was in this way that Stella and her other siblings attended the local state school in East Sussex. As a young teenager, Stella was able to travel around the world accompanying her parents on their tour with their then pop group Wings which started right after Stella was born. The touring went on until 1980.

Stella already began showing an interest in designing clothes as early as 12 when she was able to design her first jacket. Later on, Stella was able to work for Christian Lacroix as an intern where she further sharpened her designing skills for a number of years.

In the 1990’s, Stella studied fashion design at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. For her graduation collection, her clothes were modeled by her popular supermodel friends Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Yasmin Le Bon for free. The show was able to make the front page news. Stella’s entire graduation collection was eventually sold to the popular London boutique, Tokio.

In March of 1997, McCartney became the chief designer for the Paris fashion house Chloe following in the footsteps of another popular fashion designer, Karl Lagerfield. Eventually Stella’s designs enjoyed commercial as well as critical successes. By 2001, Stella resigned from Chloe and went on a joint venture with design house Gucci which allowed her collection to be displayed on two new stores in the US and another newly opened store in London under her own brand. Stella also went on to expand her brand to perfumes.

Stella also had a joint venture with Adidas in 2004 to design a sports performance collection for women under her name. The collection included women’s sports apparel for swimming, running, tennis, the gym, wintersports as well as bags. In 2005, Stella also designed a range of clothing and accessories for H&M to provide more affordable options to consumers of her more expensive line. This followed a series of other collaborations with other retailers that have allowed her to design a range of fashion collections under her name.

Stella has gone through a lot of criticism during her fashion designing career. One notable instance was that her rise in the fashion industry was due to the benefit of having a famous last name. Another instance is when she did not get a first class degree at Saint Martins, unlike other notable alumni of the school such as John Galliano and Hussein Chalayan. Stella is married to publicist Alasdhair Willis and they are blessed with two children with another one coming along the way.

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