29th April 2016 / Style

Fashion Heroes : Stella McCartney

The designer with her father, Sir Paul McCartney

Her father may have been the lead singer of The Beatles but Stella McCartney is hardly living in his shadow. The British designer, known for her eponymous label, is often credited for bring eco-conscious fashion into the forefront of fashion consciousness.

She is renowned for her sharp, simple tailoring with a feminine edge and considerate approach to wearable design. “It’s not about what it looks like in the studio or on the runway,” she once told WWD. “It’s what it looks like on a real person that matters. That isn’t easy, but it’s what’s fun.”

The younger McCartney, like her mother Linda, is an avid supporter of animal rights and a strict vegetarian. Her designs lack the use of leather or fur and most of the pieces in her collections are made from vinyl, plastic, raffia or fabric.

Stella McCartney Spring 2018 collection

A champion of the sustainable fashion movement, McCartney strives to design clothes that are meant to last. “I believe in creating pieces that aren’t going to get burnt, that aren’t going to landfills, that aren’t going to damage the environment. For every piece in every collection, I am always asking what have we done to make this garment more sustainable and what else can we do. It is a constant effort to improve”.

A quote on her website describes how this sentiment was inculcated in her from young: “I was brought up as a vegetarian on an organic farm in the English countryside way, so it kind of came very naturally to me. However, the decision not to use leather or fur is not just because I don’t eat animals or that I think that millions of animals each year shouldn’t be killed for the sake of fashion. It’s because I also believe in the connection between fur and leather and the environment.”


– In 2004, she designed for Madonna’s Re-Invention tour, Annie Lennox’s summer tour, and Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law’s costumes for the film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

– She collaborated with Adidas and established a long-term partnership with the corporation in September 2004. The Adidas by Stella McCartney collection has since grown to include a wide range of different sportswear including yoga, tennis, winter sports and golf.

– She has spoken many times about her support of animal rights. “People in fashion just don’t want to hear the messages,” she told the Guardian in 2009. “I find it astounding, because fashion is supposed to be all about change – I mean, we’re supposed to be at the cutting edge! I can only think that they don’t care as much as people in other industries. So, yes, I think people in fashion are pretty heartless.”

Images from Stella McCartney. This article originally appeared in The Fifth Collection, issue 68