Backstory Behind the Bags: Stella McCartney

Bag Bag Studio British London Stella McCartney

I think it's safe to safe that most of us have heard about the McCartney's. Yet despite her parent’s fame, (her father, Paul, was a Beatle don't you know!), Stella McCartney has made a name for herself in her own right with her contributions to the fashion industry. Born and raised in London, the 43-year-old British designer has undoubtedly carved a successful career for herself after turning her hand to fashion designing at a very young age, creating her first jacket at just 13 years old. She also designed her sister, Mary's, wedding dress when she married TV producer Alistair Donald in 1988, which was a remarkable feat for someone who wasn't even 20 years old.

McCartney attended central St Martin's college and graduated in 1995. Friends and supermodels, Yasmin Le Bon, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, all wore McCartney's final year collection at her graduation show, which was later sold to a London boutique, Tokio.

After graduating, McCartney's career continued to grow from strength to strength and in 1997 she was appointed the Creative Director of the French fashion label, Chloe. Whilst there may have been some initial speculation on whether McCartney was up to the job, particularly from former Chloe Creative Director and formidable fashion legend, Karl Lagerfeld, McCartney proved she was more than capable and was extremely successful during her time at the label.

It was then in 2001, that Stella McCartney along with Kering, (formerly known as the Gucci brand), drew up a 50/50 partnership and created the Stella McCartney fashion label. McCartney's first collection for her own brand was showcased in Paris in October of that year and since then her collections, from womenswear to handbags, have been received well by critics and fashion fanatics the world over.

One of the most pivotal handbag designs for McCartney has been the 'Falabella' bag, which was launched by the brand in the winter of 2010. The bag which is famed for its braided chain detail is still one of the designer’s bestselling items today.

At present the McCartney brand has around 40 stores across London, Paris, Milan, New York, LA, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. Her collections can also be bought in over 70 different countries with shipping available from the Stella McCartney website. 

The fashion designer, who has been lifelong vegetarian, is also a supporter of PETA and as a consequence her collections do not include the use of fur and leather materials but ethical alternatives. As can be found on the McCartney's website, part of the brands vision is to be a responsible label, and so McCartney's commitment to ethical products throughout the years has only supported this.

Despite her professional fashion career only just reaching its second decade, McCartney has received more praise than some fashion designers do in a lifetime. Since joining Chloe as their Creative Director, McCartney has received the following:

1999 - Elle Style Awards - British Designer of the Year.

2000 - The Rover British Fashion Awards - Designer of the Year.

2002 - Elle Style Awards - Style Icon

2004 - The Glamour Awards - Best Designer of the Year

2007 - The British Style Awards - Best Designer of the Year, Elle Style Awards - Best Designer of the Year, Elle Style Awards - International Designer of the Year.

2008 - ACE Awards - Green Designer of the Year, The Spanish Elle Awards - Best Designer of the Year.

2011 - The British Fashion Council - Red Carpet Award.

2012 - The British Fashion Council - Designer of the Year, The British Fashion Council - Brand of the Year, Luxury Briefing Awards - Brand of the Year, Harper's Bazaar Woman of the Year Awards - British Designer of the Year.

2013 - The Elle Style Awards - Best International Designer of the Year.

McCartney was also presented with an OBE in 2013 for her service to the fashion industry.

Her collections, which include womenswear, children swear, accessories and fragrances have proven extremely popular since she started her own label. Famed for her sleek and sophisticated designs, the vegetarian designer, has arguably created modern classics throughout her collections which will no doubt stand the test of time. Here at Bag Studio, we can't get enough of her timeless handbag designs which seemingly champion simplicity and we're already looking forward to her future collections.

By Stephanie Jade Sleaford

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