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Fashion designer Stella McCartney turns 50

London – For fashion designer Stella McCartney, there is no question that life would have had less easy life without her famous father.

“In my job, the advantages of having such a father clearly outweigh the advantages,” reported the daughter of ex-Beatle Paul McCartney in an interview with “Die Zeit” many years ago. “I wouldn’t be here without him.” This year her company is celebrating its 20th anniversary. McCartney, who has designed fashion for Chloé, Gucci, H&M and Adidas, will be 50 years old on September 13th.

Linda and Paul McCartney supported Stella from an early age

If you believe her famous papa, Stella McCartney is also a good musician. But the second of Paul and Linda McCartney’s three children together was more enthusiastic about fashion than music from an early age. Her parents had been a major inspiration – and especially their shared wardrobe. “It was like a bulging treasure trove,” McCartney recently told the “Stern”. “Inside were everyday clothes that were part of our life in the country back then, but also the stage outfits from my parents’“ Wings ”days together.”

Paul McCartney founded the band Wings shortly after the Beatles split up. Stella’s mother, the photographer Linda, is the keyboardist and singer of the group. Stella’s childhood is a time of extremes – between the rock and roll life of her parents, who take her and her siblings on tour, and life on an eco farm in Sussex. “We were very protected, downright isolated, in the middle of forests and vast landscapes,” she told Vogue. “Or we were on tour. Surrounded by 200,000 people. ”So that she doesn’t lose her grip, her parents don’t send Stella to an expensive private school, but to a completely normal state school.

Karl Lagerfeld is skeptical at first

Stella and her sister Mary, who now works as a photographer, enthusiastically tried on Linda’s outfits when they were children. “My mother wore Chloé in the 70s, so it was always present at home for me,” recalls McCartney, who became Creative Director at Chloé in 1997. Your predecessor Karl Lagerfeld was skeptical at the time. “I think they should have made a big name for themselves,” he says. “Do you have. But from music, not from fashion. “

But her first show on the catwalk in Paris was a success. McCartney dedicates it to her seriously ill mother, who died of cancer in 1998. Linda had advised her early on to tackle her career as a designer. When Stella was a teenager, her parents arranged for her first internship with fashion designer Christian Lacroix in Paris. She later studied fashion design and sat in on Vogue. She later recalled that she was a “country girl” whose eyes were opened.

A heart for animals and sustainability

Just two years after graduating, she ended up with Chloé. Before she agrees, however, she first makes it clear that leather or fur will never be used in the collections under her direction. That makes an impression, even if it doesn’t just make friends in her branch. When she designs for Gucci years later, the then Gucci boss Tom Ford is said to have tried to dissuade her from her course. Ford, who is now a close friend of McCartney’s, has now done without fur itself.

McCartney sharpened her eye for animal welfare and sustainability as a child on the organic farm. Also something that the lifelong vegetarian inherited from her mother. Linda McCartney was an active animal rights activist and declared a vegetarian long before a vegetarian or vegan diet was as common as it is today.

Big stars turn to McCartney

After a short time, stars like Madonna and actresses Nicole Kidman and Gwyneth Paltrow were among McCartney’s customers. In 1998 Madonna even wore one of her pants in the music video for the single “Ray Of Light”. Something like that is having an effect. “Stella surprised everyone by quickly developing her own style,” praised the famous Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour later. “She made sure that many young, very pretty girls wanted to buy these dresses.”

In her private life, Stella McCartney finds happiness with the publisher Alasdhair Willis. With him she has two daughters and two sons who were born between 2005 and 2010. The family has their main residence in London, where the headquarters of their corporate empire is also located. The relationship with Papa Paul was considered tense at times because Stella McCartney could not be with his second wife, Heather Mills, from whom Sir Paul has long been divorced after a war of roses.

Award from the Queen

By the way, being the daughter of a Beatles musician had more than just advantages, says McCartney. When their label initially made heavy losses, the notorious British press wrote extensively about it. “All comparable companies have similarly high costs in their start-up phase, but hardly any reports are made about them,” complained McCartney at the time. “Only with me is everything brightly lit because everyone wants to see the Beatles daughter fail.”

But she prevailed. And in 2013 McCartney was even awarded the “Order Of The British Empire” by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to the British fashion industry. She was promptly asked for her assessment of Queen fashion. “Very chic and beautiful,” McCartney judged politely and joked. “She should be wearing Stella McCartney, of course. I gave her my card. ”It is not known whether the monarch accepted the offer.

British fashion designer Stella McCartney comes to the first Bloomberg Philanthropies and Vanity Fair Climate Exchange Gala Dinner at Bloomberg's London headquarters.  (Archive image)
British fashion designer Stella McCartney comes to the first Bloomberg Philanthropies and Vanity Fair Climate Exchange Gala Dinner at Bloomberg’s London headquarters. (Archive image)

Ian West / PA Wire / dpa



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