Fashion Mile

March 29, 2009

Stella McCartney [history]

Filed under: 1 — Tags: , — fashionmile @ 2:55 pm


Date of Birth
13 September 1971, London, England, UK
Birth Name
Stella Nina McCartney
“Stella Steel” (within the fashion industry)
“Unstoppable Stella” (within the fashion industry)
short Biography
Stella Nina McCartney was born in London, England in 1971 to ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and famed rocker photographer, Linda McCartney. Stella’s birth almost ended in disaster where both mother and child almost died – the traumatic event led her father to pray she be born “on the wings of an angel”, thus inspiring the name of her parent’s band “Wings”. McCartney admits she had a “normal” childhood, despite her famous parents – though she did travel the globe with them and their group, the whole family lived in a two-bedroom while she was growing up. Stella was on her own and independent by the time she was in college, making her own money (and sometimes having to clean dishes at a near-by restaurant to do so.) At age 15 she had the opportunity to work with Christian Lacroix on his first couture collection and in 1995, she graduated from London’s Central St Martins College of Art & Design, showcasing at her collection of clothes modeled by good celebrity friends Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. In 1997, with two collections under her belt, McCartney was appointed chief designer at Paris fashion house Chloй, but resigned four years later to enter in a joint venture with the Gucci Group. The line opened three stores and later Stella expanded her brand to include perfume. In 2000, she was presented VH1/Vogue Designer of the Year award by her father. Most recently, McCartney designed a line of clothing and accessories for H&M, helping sales to skyrocket with her designer name and in August of 2003, married publisher Alasdhair Willis.


Designed Madonna’s wedding dress. [2000]

For her graduation fashion from St. Martin’s, Stella featured a song by her father, “Stella May Day”, and her clothes were modeled by friends Kate Moss, Yasmin Le Bon and Naomi Campbell.

Is an active member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA].

She is the daughter of former Beatle Paul McCartney and the late Linda McCartney.

Was the head designer for Chloй.

Studied at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design.

Her traumatic birth compelled her famous father to pray that she be born “on the wings of an angel”. This quote inspired Paul to name his upcoming band – “Wings”.

Married publisher boyfriend Alasdhair Willis in Scotland on August 30, 2003.

Younger half-sister of pottery designer Heather McCartney

Designs for her own label, under the umbrella of Gucci Group.

Older half-sister of Beatrice Milly McCartney

Stepdaughter of Heather Mills

Is a vegetarian.

Welcomed her first child, a boy, Miller Alasdhair James Willis in London. The baby weighed 7lbs, 7ozs. [25 February 2005]

Launched a range of affordable clothing with H&M in 2005, following in the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld – for the second time, as he was head designer of Chloe before she took the title.

Friends with actress Liv Tyler, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson.

Younger sister of photographer Mary McCartney

Older sister of musician/sculptor James McCartney.

Sister-in-law of Alistair Donald

Named after both of her maternal great-grandmothers: both of Linda McCartney’s grandmothers were named Stella.

Considers her mother, the late rock photographer, musician and activist Linda McCartney, to be a fashion icon.

Aunt of older sister Mary McCartney’s two sons, Arthur Alistair Donald (b. 3 April 1999) and Elliot Donald (b. 1 August 2002).

Established a long-term partnership with Adidas in September 2004, launching a critically acclaimed sports performance collection for women, “Adidas by Stella McCartney”.

Friends with actress Kate Hudson

The line, “Suitable for vegetarians” can be found on the bottoms of her line of shoes.

Her second child with husband Alasdhair Willis was born on 8th December 2006, a baby girl named Bailey Linda Olwyn Willis who weighed 7lbs 14oz. The baby’s middle name is after Stella’s late mother Linda McCartney.

Her third child with husband Alasdhair Willis was born on 8th January 2008, a baby boy named Beckett Robert Lee Willis. The baby’s middle name, Lee, is after Stella’s late maternal grandfather, Lee Eastman.


Personal Quotes
“I can honestly say this industry hasn’t made me neurotic about my looks, except maybe my weight. I hope my clothes kind of reflect that. They’re meant to make you feel good, not give you more hang-ups.”

“I have been struggling furiously all my life to be independent.”

“I was in this stadium with 200,000 people looking at my mum and dad. That was mind-bending.” – on her parents’ fame


Where Are They Now
(August 2006) Announced that she is currently expecting her second child with her husband, publisher Alasdhair Willis. This will be the fourth grandchild for Paul McCartney.

(August 2007) Announced that she is currently expecting her third child towards the end of 2007 with her husband, publisher Alasdhair Willis. This will be the fifth grandchild for Paul McCartney.

(January 2008) She gave birth to her second son Beckett Robert Lee Willis on January 8th 2008.
Some in the press have suggested that McCartney’s meteoric rise through the fashion industry was partly due to nepotism; however she has always claimed that she would have been a famous fashion designer even if her dad hadn’t been Paul McCartney. In particular, it has been suggested that Vendome, owners of the Chloé house, appointed her as much for the wave of publicity the appointment would generate as for her talent. In recent times, however, most commentators have said that she is entirely capable. Indeed, Vogue magazine wrote that “her first collection for the house Chloé, shown in Paris in October 1997, quickly dispelled any doubts about her talent.”

McCartney went to Saint Martins where she did not receive a first class degree,[citation needed] 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.”

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.”
Personal life
McCartney married publisher Alasdhair Willis on August 30, 2003 at Mount Stuart House, the Stately home of the Marquess of Bute on the Isle of Bute, Scotland. McCartney’s wedding dress was an updated version of her mother’s wedding dress from her March 1969 marriage ceremony to Paul McCartney. She designed the dress with Tom Ford, her boss at Gucci. The service was attended by Gwyneth Paltrow, Liv Tyler, Pierce Brosnan, and Madonna.

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.

Stella is a member of The Royal British Legion Paddington Branch, as is her husband.

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.


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