McCartney, Stella

▪ 2002

      When Stella McCartney was asked by a London fashion critic why the clothes she designed for French fashion label Chloé held so much appeal for young women, she quipped, “I know what makes chicks tick.” McCartney's words were validated in April 2001 when, after protracted negotiations with the Gucci Group, Gucci chairman Domenico de Sole announced that the Italian luxury goods conglomerate would provide at least 51% of the funds to back a new design label produced under McCartney's name.

      McCartney, born in 1972 in London, was the daughter of Sir Paul McCartney (a former Beatle) and Linda McCartney, a noted photographer and animal rights activist. She graduated (1995) from Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design, London, and rose quickly to the forefront of the international fashion world. She was hired in 1997 by the Vendome Group to revitalize its 47-year-old design label, Chloé. McCartney replaced legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld, who expressed skepticism about her design skill. “I think they should have taken a big name,” he said. “They did, but in music, not fashion.” Indeed, McCartney's design experience had been limited. Prior to her formal schooling, she worked for a time at the French couture house Christian Lacroix and as an intern at British Vogue. Though she produced a blockbuster graduation show that featured supermodel Naomi Campbell, one of McCartney's tutors admitted that she was “a very hardworking girl, but she did not really stand out in her year.”

      McCartney did, however, succeed in establishing Chloé as a desirable brand; its sales reportedly increased fivefold. Her first collection, featuring lacy petticoat skirts and dainty camisoles, silenced critics, and her 2001 Paris romantic offerings—sexy silk pants set off by midriff-baring tops, signature body-hugging jeans paired with showier tunic tops or jackets, and fake-fur coats and vests splashed with jeweled appliqués—cemented her reputation. McCartney also built the brand a celebrity cult following. This in part was due to her high-profile customers and friends, notably Madonna (for whom she designed a wedding dress), Kate Hudson (whom McCartney outfitted for the 2001 Academy Award ceremonies), actresses Liv Tyler and Gwyneth Paltrow, and model Kate Moss.

      Rumours that McCartney had met with Tom Ford, the Gucci Group's design director, began circulating early in 2000. Some suspected that she would take over design at Gucci, because Ford had been named design director of Yves Saint Laurent. McCartney's position as a staunch animal rights activist (shortly after her mother's death, she made a video supporting animal rights for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) prevented her from signing a deal, however. She refused to work with leather or fur—both central design elements for Gucci. In hiring McCartney, Gucci both acquired the design talent that it had long sought and, it seemed, concluded that an animal-friendly label could potentially turn a profit.

Bronwyn Cosgrave

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • McCartney, Stella — (1972 )    Born in England, McCartney graduated from the fashion program at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London in 1995. Amid much controversy, due to her famous father, the former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, she was hired as …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

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  • Stella McCartney — Infobox Fashion Designer caption= name= Stella McCartney nationality=British birth date=Birth date and age|1971|9|13|df=yes birth place=London, England death date= death place= education= Central St Martins label name=Stella McCartney, adidas by… …   Wikipedia

  • Stella McCartney — El texto que sigue es una traducción defectuosa o incompleta. Si quieres colaborar con Wikipedia, busca el artículo original y mejora o finaliza esta traducción. Puedes dar aviso al autor principal del artículo pegando el siguiente código en su… …   Wikipedia Español

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