Stella Nina McCartney (born September 13 1971) is an English fashion designer. She is the daughter of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and his first wife, rock photographer and animal rights activist Linda McCartney.
Despite their fame, the McCartneys wanted their children to lead as normal a life as possible so Stella and her siblings attended the local state school 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 a bully herself.
She studied 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.
As a strict vegetarian, McCartney does not use fur or leather in her designs and 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. Her father is also known for supporting PETA by protesting against designers who use animal fur, and those who wear it. However, Stella will use wool, silk, and other animal-derived fabrics in her designs.
In 2001, McCartney resigned from Chloé in order to enter into an eponymous joint venture with Gucci. The line has three stores, one in New York City (September 2002), one in Mayfair (April 2004) and one in Los Angeles which she opened on her birthday in September 2005 and expanded her brand into perfume.
Stella McCartney received the VH1/Vogue Designer of the Year award in 2000. Paul McCartney presented the award to his daughter. She thanked him in her acceptance speech and dedicated the award to her late mother. Also in 2000, McCartney designed Madonna's wedding dress for her marriage to Guy Ritchie. Her older sister, Mary, served as the wedding photographer.
In January 2007, Stella McCartney launched a skincare line called CARE. The 100% organic line includes seven products, from a cleansing milk made with lemon balm and apricot to green tea and linden blossom floral water. Dutch model Bette Franke stars in the line's advertisements.
She also launched a joint-venture line with Adidas, establishing a long-term partnership with the corporation in September 2004. This line is a sports performance collection for women called 'Adidas by Stella McCartney'. The collection includes apparel for swim, gym, running, tennis and wintersports, as well as bags. McCartney's favorite pieces in the collection come with a special reflector keychain. In early 2006, the keychain was in the shape of a pink heart and in later 2006, it was in the shape of a gray wolf's head. In January 2007, Stella McCartney announced that she will be adding a branch called Gym Yoga to her sports range for Adidas. Gym Yoga spring/summer 2007 collection is inspired by ballet and dance uniforms. The collection features double-layered tank tops with deep necklines, low-waisted skinny trousers and lightweight rubber shoes. Her Adidas contract was extended until 2010.
In 2005, she designed a range of clothing and accessories for H&M to boost public awareness of her own brand and to create more affordable options for her fans. The line was released in November of that year and sold out almost immediately on launch day, due to the similarity (in many cases, almost direct copies) between her expensive main line and the H&M line.
On March 12, 2007, Stella McCartney's limited edition 42-piece range was released to just 100 Target stores exclusively in Australia. The range was priced from $30 for a silk scarf to $200 for a taffeta trench coat. The collection was made in China. Scenes of near hysteria broke out as women stormed the stores to buy the collection. A problem was "clothing scalpers", who bought up large amounts of the range to resell on eBay at a high mark-up. Later, a large number of buyers returned their Stella clothes to Target complaining of strange, non-standard sizing that was bigger than the norm. A Target spokesperson defended the range saying that Stella's look was "generous" and "oversized." Later, returned Stella clothes languished on the racks having had their prices slashed by up to 60 percent.
In January 2008, McCartney's collaboration with lingerie label Bendon will be released to department stores, speciality stores and Stella McCartney stores. The lingerie is to come in the colours of her signature palette: antique pink, blue, grey, and cream.
In early 2008, McCartney will be releasing a line of handbags for LeSportsac. The collection will have 30 to 40 styles and will range from $200-$500. The collection will consist of travel bags, luggage, baby accessories and bags for mothers with infants and toddlers. The line will be sold at high end retailers, the Los Angeles and New York Stella McCartney stores, select LeSportsac boutiques, and will be available for purchase online.
McCartney went to Saint Martins where she did not receive a first class degree, unlike the other internationally famous Saint Martins Alumni, such as John Galliano and Hussein Chalayan, adding to the speculation that it was her name rather than her talent which lead to the Chloé appointment. Despite this, she is known in the fashion industry as "Stella Steel" or "Unstoppable Stella. However, her products in the Meatpacking district of New York have been praised by Kai Wong as "the consumer product closest to Art."
In November 2007, Stella designed a silver necklace featuring a single leg, an apparent attack on her father's estranged wife Heather Mills, an amputee. Fashion insiders thought it was "edgy", but also a bit "out of order."
Their first child, son Miller Alasdhair James Willis, was born February 25 2005, weighing 7 lb. 7 oz. Their second child, daughter Bailey Linda Olwyn Willis, was born December 8 2006, weighing 7 lb. 14 oz. Stella gave birth to her second son and third child Beckett Robert Lee Willis on January 8 2008. Her three children were born in London, England.
In addition to her elder sisters and younger brother, Stella has a much younger half-sister, Beatrice Milly McCartney, born in October 28 2003 to her father and his (now divorced) second wife Heather Mills.