DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT
 
  
Stella McCartney: On Motherhood, Staying Creative In Solitude, & Sustainability
 
 
 
As her new Pre-Fall ‘20 collection launches on Moda and the world wakes up to a greater social consciousness, the ethical designer, speaking from isolation in the British countryside, tells TATIANA HAMBRO she no longer feels like “the weirdo in the room.”   
 

Pictured: 
Stella McCartney shot by Dougal Macarthur
Editorial Image
DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT
 
  
Stella McCartney: On Motherhood, Staying Creative In Solitude, & Sustainability
 
 
 
As her new Pre-Fall ‘20 collection launches on Moda and the world wakes up to a greater social consciousness, the ethical designer, speaking from isolation in the British countryside, tells TATIANA HAMBRO she no longer feels like “the weirdo in the room.”   
 

Pictured: 
Stella McCartney shot by Dougal Macarthur

 
DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT
 

Stella McCartney: On Motherhood, Staying Creative In Solitude, & Sustainability

 
 
As her new Pre-Fall ‘20 collection launches on Moda and the world wakes up to a greater social consciousness, the ethical British designer, speaking from her home in lockdown, tells TATIANA HAMBRO she no longer feels like “the weirdo in the room.” 


 
DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT
 

Stella McCartney: On Motherhood, Staying Creative In Solitude, & Sustainability

 
 
As her new Pre-Fall ‘20 collection launches on Moda and the world wakes up to a greater social consciousness, the ethical British designer, speaking from her home in lockdown, tells TATIANA HAMBRO she no longer feels like “the weirdo in the room.” 

Editorial Image

Pictured: 
Stella McCartney shot by Dougal Macarthur

Pictured: 
Stella McCartney shot by Dougal Macarthur
                   
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN KEEPING CENTERED AND MOTIVATED DURING THESE PAST FEW MONTHS?

As a working parent, I’ve always wanted to just be living in the country with my family breathing the fresh air and riding horses. I feel so blessed to be in nature right now spending time with my kids and seeing them witnessing the seasons, to just be a mom, and all of the core experiences that entails. To have simple things like lunches and dinners together and to be able to ride my horse more than I ever normally do. These are the moments where I find peace and calm. It feeds and inspires me on so many different levels as a mother, as a wife, as a designer, and as a founder of a business. 

 



 
I believe in the future and I believe in our kids because they are the ones who are going to fight for their lives on this planet.”

STELLA MCCARTNEY
 
 


   
OFTEN, TIMES OF GREAT CHALLENGE CAN ALSO BRING FORTH GREAT CLARITY—AND CREATIVITY. WHAT, FOR YOU, HAS REALLY COME TO LIGHT?

I’ve had the opportunity to reflect about the creative process and how usual it is for artists, musicians, architects, and designers to create in isolation. Innovation often comes during times of solitude and I’m finding myself getting back to those moments. I’m used to working with a team and I suddenly find myself during these insular moments rediscovering what made me want to be a designer, why I do what I do and the meaning I derive from my work. It’s very interesting how this time has brought such clarity and focus.
                   
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN KEEPING CENTERED AND MOTIVATED DURING THESE PAST FEW MONTHS?

As a working parent, I’ve always wanted to just be living in the country with my family breathing the fresh air and riding horses. I feel so blessed to be in nature right now spending time with my kids and seeing them witnessing the seasons, to just be a mom, and all of the core experiences that entails. To have simple things like lunches and dinners together and to be able to ride my horse more than I ever normally do. These are the moments where I find peace and calm. It feeds and inspires me on so many different levels as a mother, as a wife, as a designer, and as a founder of a business. 

 



 
I believe in the future and I believe in our kids because they are the ones who are going to fight for their lives on this planet.”

STELLA MCCARTNEY
 
 


   
OFTEN, TIMES OF GREAT CHALLENGE CAN ALSO BRING FORTH GREAT CLARITY—AND CREATIVITY. WHAT, FOR YOU, HAS REALLY COME TO LIGHT?

I’ve had the opportunity to reflect about the creative process and how usual it is for artists, musicians, architects, and designers to create in isolation. Innovation often comes during times of solitude and I’m finding myself getting back to those moments. I’m used to working with a team and I suddenly find myself during these insular moments rediscovering what made me want to be a designer, why I do what I do and the meaning I derive from my work. It’s very interesting how this time has brought such clarity and focus.
               
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN KEEPING CENTERED AND MOTIVATED DURING THESE PAST FEW MONTHS?

As a working parent, I’ve always wanted to just be living in the country with my family breathing the fresh air and riding horses. I feel so blessed to be in nature right now spending time with my kids and seeing them witnessing the seasons, to just be a mom, and all of the core experiences that entails. To have simple things like lunches and dinners together and to be able to ride my horse more than I ever normally do. These are the moments where I find peace and calm. It feeds and inspires me on so many different levels as a mother, as a wife, as a designer, and as a founder of a business. 

 



 
I believe in the future and I believe in our kids because they are the ones who are going to fight for their lives on this planet.”

STELLA MCCARTNEY
 
 


   
OFTEN, TIMES OF GREAT CHALLENGE CAN ALSO BRING FORTH GREAT CLARITY—AND CREATIVITY. WHAT, FOR YOU, HAS REALLY COME TO LIGHT?

I’ve had the opportunity to reflect about the creative process and how usual it is for artists, musicians, architects, and designers to create in isolation. Innovation often comes during times of solitude and I’m finding myself getting back to those moments. I’m used to working with a team and I suddenly find myself during these insular moments rediscovering what made me want to be a designer, why I do what I do and the meaning I derive from my work. It’s very interesting how this time has brought such clarity and focus.
               
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN KEEPING CENTERED AND MOTIVATED DURING THESE PAST FEW MONTHS?

As a working parent, I’ve always wanted to just be living in the country with my family breathing the fresh air and riding horses. I feel so blessed to be in nature right now spending time with my kids and seeing them witnessing the seasons, to just be a mom, and all of the core experiences that entails. To have simple things like lunches and dinners together and to be able to ride my horse more than I ever normally do. These are the moments where I find peace and calm. It feeds and inspires me on so many different levels as a mother, as a wife, as a designer, and as a founder of a business. 

 



 
I believe in the future and I believe in our kids because they are the ones who are going to fight for their lives on this planet.”

STELLA MCCARTNEY
 
 


   
OFTEN, TIMES OF GREAT CHALLENGE CAN ALSO BRING FORTH GREAT CLARITY—AND CREATIVITY. WHAT, FOR YOU, HAS REALLY COME TO LIGHT?

I’ve had the opportunity to reflect about the creative process and how usual it is for artists, musicians, architects, and designers to create in isolation. Innovation often comes during times of solitude and I’m finding myself getting back to those moments. I’m used to working with a team and I suddenly find myself during these insular moments rediscovering what made me want to be a designer, why I do what I do and the meaning I derive from my work. It’s very interesting how this time has brought such clarity and focus.
                           
YOU HAVE BEEN A PIONEER OF ETHICAL FASHION SINCE LAUNCHING IN 2001. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WHERE WE ARE TODAY? ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC?

People are genuinely interested and engaged in this conversation and I’m more optimistic than I have ever been. We are realizing more now than ever that we need to rethink the old business models. If we do not look to the future of fashion and conduct ourselves in responsible, mindful, and ethical ways, there won’t be a business. In fact, there will be no planet to conduct business on. I believe in leading by example. I’m trying to show people that as a brand you can be fashionable, desirable, and relevant, and do better when it comes to environmentalism and conducting business in a conscious manner. This conversation seems to really be taking place in the industry and I’m excited to see I am no longer the weirdo in the room. When I first began, it was unheard of for a house to not use leather, not use fur, not use PVC. Now you’re seeing more consumers and designers begin to push the sustainability agenda and ask the questions. 

 

 
THE INDUSTRY SEEMS TO BE FINALLY WAKING UP TO THE DIRE NEED FOR SUSTAINABILITY, YET THIS IS SOMETHING YOU’VE BEEN CHAMPIONING FOR YEARS. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL STORY AS IT RELATES TO THESE CAUSES? FOR INSTANCE, WHEN DID YOU BECOME A VEGETARIAN?

I was so lucky to be raised by such a loving and open-minded family who were having these kinds of conversations about the environment and sustainability ages ago. I didn’t live by the standard conventions most generations have had to. My parents were rule breakers and never dictated to me the rule that I needed to eat meat. It just made complete sense to me. It was the way I was brought up. I grew up in the countryside with my parents and siblings surrounded by nature. The country has always felt like home to me. Naturally, I had to take that mindset into my business practices.

 



“My parents were rule breakers.”

STELLA MCCARTNEY
 
 


   
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SUSTAINABLE FACTORS IN THE NEW PRE-FALL ‘20 COLLECTION? ARE THERE ANY NEW TECHNOLOGIES OR DEVELOPMENTS YOU’RE PARTICULARLY EXCITED ABOUT?

We’ve used some of our staple sustainable fabrics in the Autumn collection. We’re using sustainable viscose, recycled polyester, and regenerated cashmere, and we were very focused on the technology. We work with Canopy to ensure all of our viscose is made from sustainably regulated forests in Sweden. We really took the time to source this fabric as it was important to me that we weren’t contributing to deforestation as this is one of the most serious environmental issues that we face today. I’m always looking to regenerate and rejuvenate our existing resources and that is the approach that I take when sourcing all of my fabrics. Our regenerated cashmere has seven times lower environmental impact than virgin cashmere and is sourced from materials slated to go to landfills. We also introduced KOBA, the first bio-based and recyclable faux fur, made from an innovative new fiber that is made from plant pulp and recycled polyester and feels like real fur.

 

  
WHAT SHOULD CONSUMERS SEEKING TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT BE MINDFUL OF WHEN SHOPPING? 

Today’s consumers are becoming ever more conscious of how they’re living, how they’re eating, what they’re watching, and how they’re spending. I believe that more responsible consumer behavior is essential to moving towards sustainability. I look at luxury fashion as an investment and I believe that when you buy a product it should have an afterlife and be something that can be handed down to a child or friend. At Stella McCartney, we are investing a little bit more over a longer period of time in the quality of our products to make sure that they will last rather than end up in a landfill in a week.

 

  
MANY WOMEN TELL ME THEY LOVE YOUR PIECES FOR THEIR COMFORT AND EASE OF WEAR. IN THAT SENSE, THEY FEEL VERY MODERN. IS THAT SOMETHING YOU’RE CONSCIOUSLY THINKING ABOUT WHEN DESIGNING? 

Thinking about the future of fashion is what inspires and sustains me. Considering the negative impact the fashion industry has had on the environment, I look to technology and design as a solution to these problems. I’m continuously thinking about how clothes reflect who we are, how we’re feeling emotionally, and how clothes can make us feel better or worse. As a woman designing for women, this is always at the forefront of my mind. I truly want to offer a service with my clothes, that anyone from any walk of life can find something that suits them. In such a crowded space, it’s important to me to create pieces that people want and that will have longevity. It’s one of the key points I think of when I begin the designing process. I want the pieces to have a timelessness to them. They have a point of view and a special detail that shines but are still something you can revisit again and again. More so recently, women say to me that they are grateful that as a fashion designer and a businesswoman I try and put the environment first and that I am not killing animals in the name of fashion. That is really exciting to me.
 
 

  
WHAT’S YOUR APPROACH TO NON-APPAREL DESIGN? 

When I first started out, I was told there was no way I could have an accessories business without using leather. People thought I was crazy. I didn’t let that stop me and to now have a handbag and shoe business without using any animal products is crazy brilliant, and I am so proud to be able to offer alternative options to people, like our Falabella bag which has become iconic and most represents what we can do from a design perspective while keeping sustainability at the forefront. This season, we introduced the Emilie boot which is made from our alter-nappa, a non-leather material that has a coating made of 50% vegetable oil which is a renewable and natural resource, and a backing that is made from recycled polyester. Leather and luxury are typically synonymous with each other, but I wanted to approach things differently and prove it was doable without sacrificing style and design. It is the same approach I have in ready-to-wear and I hope that the authenticity resonates with my customer.
                           
YOU HAVE BEEN A PIONEER OF ETHICAL FASHION SINCE LAUNCHING IN 2001. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WHERE WE ARE TODAY? ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC?

People are genuinely interested and engaged in this conversation and I’m more optimistic than I have ever been. We are realizing more now than ever that we need to rethink the old business models. If we do not look to the future of fashion and conduct ourselves in responsible, mindful, and ethical ways, there won’t be a business. In fact, there will be no planet to conduct business on. I believe in leading by example. I’m trying to show people that as a brand you can be fashionable, desirable, and relevant, and do better when it comes to environmentalism and conducting business in a conscious manner. This conversation seems to really be taking place in the industry and I’m excited to see I am no longer the weirdo in the room. When I first began, it was unheard of for a house to not use leather, not use fur, not use PVC. Now you’re seeing more consumers and designers begin to push the sustainability agenda and ask the questions. 

 

 
THE INDUSTRY SEEMS TO BE FINALLY WAKING UP TO THE DIRE NEED FOR SUSTAINABILITY, YET THIS IS SOMETHING YOU’VE BEEN CHAMPIONING FOR YEARS. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL STORY AS IT RELATES TO THESE CAUSES? FOR INSTANCE, WHEN DID YOU BECOME A VEGETARIAN?

I was so lucky to be raised by such a loving and open-minded family who were having these kinds of conversations about the environment and sustainability ages ago. I didn’t live by the standard conventions most generations have had to. My parents were rule breakers and never dictated to me the rule that I needed to eat meat. It just made complete sense to me. It was the way I was brought up. I grew up in the countryside with my parents and siblings surrounded by nature. The country has always felt like home to me. Naturally, I had to take that mindset into my business practices.

 



“My parents were rule breakers.”

STELLA MCCARTNEY
 
 


   
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SUSTAINABLE FACTORS IN THE NEW PRE-FALL ‘20 COLLECTION? ARE THERE ANY NEW TECHNOLOGIES OR DEVELOPMENTS YOU’RE PARTICULARLY EXCITED ABOUT?

We’ve used some of our staple sustainable fabrics in the Autumn collection. We’re using sustainable viscose, recycled polyester, and regenerated cashmere, and we were very focused on the technology. We work with Canopy to ensure all of our viscose is made from sustainably regulated forests in Sweden. We really took the time to source this fabric as it was important to me that we weren’t contributing to deforestation as this is one of the most serious environmental issues that we face today. I’m always looking to regenerate and rejuvenate our existing resources and that is the approach that I take when sourcing all of my fabrics. Our regenerated cashmere has seven times lower environmental impact than virgin cashmere and is sourced from materials slated to go to landfills. We also introduced KOBA, the first bio-based and recyclable faux fur, made from an innovative new fiber that is made from plant pulp and recycled polyester and feels like real fur.

 

  
WHAT SHOULD CONSUMERS SEEKING TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT BE MINDFUL OF WHEN SHOPPING? 

Today’s consumers are becoming ever more conscious of how they’re living, how they’re eating, what they’re watching, and how they’re spending. I believe that more responsible consumer behavior is essential to moving towards sustainability. I look at luxury fashion as an investment and I believe that when you buy a product it should have an afterlife and be something that can be handed down to a child or friend. At Stella McCartney, we are investing a little bit more over a longer period of time in the quality of our products to make sure that they will last rather than end up in a landfill in a week.

 

  
MANY WOMEN TELL ME THEY LOVE YOUR PIECES FOR THEIR COMFORT AND EASE OF WEAR. IN THAT SENSE, THEY FEEL VERY MODERN. IS THAT SOMETHING YOU’RE CONSCIOUSLY THINKING ABOUT WHEN DESIGNING? 

Thinking about the future of fashion is what inspires and sustains me. Considering the negative impact the fashion industry has had on the environment, I look to technology and design as a solution to these problems. I’m continuously thinking about how clothes reflect who we are, how we’re feeling emotionally, and how clothes can make us feel better or worse. As a woman designing for women, this is always at the forefront of my mind. I truly want to offer a service with my clothes, that anyone from any walk of life can find something that suits them. In such a crowded space, it’s important to me to create pieces that people want and that will have longevity. It’s one of the key points I think of when I begin the designing process. I want the pieces to have a timelessness to them. They have a point of view and a special detail that shines but are still something you can revisit again and again. More so recently, women say to me that they are grateful that as a fashion designer and a businesswoman I try and put the environment first and that I am not killing animals in the name of fashion. That is really exciting to me.
 
 

  
WHAT’S YOUR APPROACH TO NON-APPAREL DESIGN? 

When I first started out, I was told there was no way I could have an accessories business without using leather. People thought I was crazy. I didn’t let that stop me and to now have a handbag and shoe business without using any animal products is crazy brilliant, and I am so proud to be able to offer alternative options to people, like our Falabella bag which has become iconic and most represents what we can do from a design perspective while keeping sustainability at the forefront. This season, we introduced the Emilie boot which is made from our alter-nappa, a non-leather material that has a coating made of 50% vegetable oil which is a renewable and natural resource, and a backing that is made from recycled polyester. Leather and luxury are typically synonymous with each other, but I wanted to approach things differently and prove it was doable without sacrificing style and design. It is the same approach I have in ready-to-wear and I hope that the authenticity resonates with my customer.
                            
YOU HAVE BEEN A PIONEER OF ETHICAL FASHION SINCE LAUNCHING IN 2001. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WHERE WE ARE TODAY? ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC?

People are genuinely interested and engaged in this conversation and I’m more optimistic than I have ever been. We are realizing more now than ever that we need to rethink the old business models. If we do not look to the future of fashion and conduct ourselves in responsible, mindful, and ethical ways, there won’t be a business. In fact, there will be no planet to conduct business on. I believe in leading by example. I’m trying to show people that as a brand you can be fashionable, desirable, and relevant, and do better when it comes to environmentalism and conducting business in a conscious manner. This conversation seems to really be taking place in the industry and I’m excited to see I am no longer the weirdo in the room. When I first began, it was unheard of for a house to not use leather, not use fur, not use PVC. Now you’re seeing more consumers and designers begin to push the sustainability agenda and ask the questions. 

 

 
THE INDUSTRY SEEMS TO BE FINALLY WAKING UP TO THE DIRE NEED FOR SUSTAINABILITY, YET THIS IS SOMETHING YOU’VE BEEN CHAMPIONING FOR YEARS. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL STORY AS IT RELATES TO THESE CAUSES? FOR INSTANCE, WHEN DID YOU BECOME A VEGETARIAN?

I was so lucky to be raised by such a loving and open-minded family who were having these kinds of conversations about the environment and sustainability ages ago. I didn’t live by the standard conventions most generations have had to. My parents were rule breakers and never dictated to me the rule that I needed to eat meat. It just made complete sense to me. It was the way I was brought up. I grew up in the countryside with my parents and siblings surrounded by nature. The country has always felt like home to me. Naturally, I had to take that mindset into my business practices.

 



“My parents were rule breakers.”

STELLA MCCARTNEY
 
 


   
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SUSTAINABLE FACTORS IN THE NEW PRE-FALL ‘20 COLLECTION? ARE THERE ANY NEW TECHNOLOGIES OR DEVELOPMENTS YOU’RE PARTICULARLY EXCITED ABOUT?

We’ve used some of our staple sustainable fabrics in the Autumn collection. We’re using sustainable viscose, recycled polyester, and regenerated cashmere, and we were very focused on the technology. We work with Canopy to ensure all of our viscose is made from sustainably regulated forests in Sweden. We really took the time to source this fabric as it was important to me that we weren’t contributing to deforestation as this is one of the most serious environmental issues that we face today. I’m always looking to regenerate and rejuvenate our existing resources and that is the approach that I take when sourcing all of my fabrics. Our regenerated cashmere has seven times lower environmental impact than virgin cashmere and is sourced from materials slated to go to landfills. We also introduced KOBA, the first bio-based and recyclable faux fur, made from an innovative new fiber that is made from plant pulp and recycled polyester and feels like real fur.

 

  
WHAT SHOULD CONSUMERS SEEKING TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT BE MINDFUL OF WHEN SHOPPING? 

Today’s consumers are becoming ever more conscious of how they’re living, how they’re eating, what they’re watching, and how they’re spending. I believe that more responsible consumer behavior is essential to moving towards sustainability. I look at luxury fashion as an investment and I believe that when you buy a product it should have an afterlife and be something that can be handed down to a child or friend. At Stella McCartney, we are investing a little bit more over a longer period of time in the quality of our products to make sure that they will last rather than end up in a landfill in a week.

 

  
MANY WOMEN TELL ME THEY LOVE YOUR PIECES FOR THEIR COMFORT AND EASE OF WEAR. IN THAT SENSE, THEY FEEL VERY MODERN. IS THAT SOMETHING YOU’RE CONSCIOUSLY THINKING ABOUT WHEN DESIGNING? 

Thinking about the future of fashion is what inspires and sustains me. Considering the negative impact the fashion industry has had on the environment, I look to technology and design as a solution to these problems. I’m continuously thinking about how clothes reflect who we are, how we’re feeling emotionally, and how clothes can make us feel better or worse. As a woman designing for women, this is always at the forefront of my mind. I truly want to offer a service with my clothes, that anyone from any walk of life can find something that suits them. In such a crowded space, it’s important to me to create pieces that people want and that will have longevity. It’s one of the key points I think of when I begin the designing process. I want the pieces to have a timelessness to them. They have a point of view and a special detail that shines but are still something you can revisit again and again. More so recently, women say to me that they are grateful that as a fashion designer and a businesswoman I try and put the environment first and that I am not killing animals in the name of fashion. That is really exciting to me.
 
 

  
WHAT’S YOUR APPROACH TO NON-APPAREL DESIGN? 

When I first started out, I was told there was no way I could have an accessories business without using leather. People thought I was crazy. I didn’t let that stop me and to now have a handbag and shoe business without using any animal products is crazy brilliant, and I am so proud to be able to offer alternative options to people, like our Falabella bag which has become iconic and most represents what we can do from a design perspective while keeping sustainability at the forefront. This season, we introduced the Emilie boot which is made from our alter-nappa, a non-leather material that has a coating made of 50% vegetable oil which is a renewable and natural resource, and a backing that is made from recycled polyester. Leather and luxury are typically synonymous with each other, but I wanted to approach things differently and prove it was doable without sacrificing style and design. It is the same approach I have in ready-to-wear and I hope that the authenticity resonates with my customer.
                            
YOU HAVE BEEN A PIONEER OF ETHICAL FASHION SINCE LAUNCHING IN 2001. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WHERE WE ARE TODAY? ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC?

People are genuinely interested and engaged in this conversation and I’m more optimistic than I have ever been. We are realizing more now than ever that we need to rethink the old business models. If we do not look to the future of fashion and conduct ourselves in responsible, mindful, and ethical ways, there won’t be a business. In fact, there will be no planet to conduct business on. I believe in leading by example. I’m trying to show people that as a brand you can be fashionable, desirable, and relevant, and do better when it comes to environmentalism and conducting business in a conscious manner. This conversation seems to really be taking place in the industry and I’m excited to see I am no longer the weirdo in the room. When I first began, it was unheard of for a house to not use leather, not use fur, not use PVC. Now you’re seeing more consumers and designers begin to push the sustainability agenda and ask the questions. 

 

 
THE INDUSTRY SEEMS TO BE FINALLY WAKING UP TO THE DIRE NEED FOR SUSTAINABILITY, YET THIS IS SOMETHING YOU’VE BEEN CHAMPIONING FOR YEARS. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL STORY AS IT RELATES TO THESE CAUSES? FOR INSTANCE, WHEN DID YOU BECOME A VEGETARIAN?

I was so lucky to be raised by such a loving and open-minded family who were having these kinds of conversations about the environment and sustainability ages ago. I didn’t live by the standard conventions most generations have had to. My parents were rule breakers and never dictated to me the rule that I needed to eat meat. It just made complete sense to me. It was the way I was brought up. I grew up in the countryside with my parents and siblings surrounded by nature. The country has always felt like home to me. Naturally, I had to take that mindset into my business practices.

 



“My parents were rule breakers.”

STELLA MCCARTNEY
 
 


   
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SUSTAINABLE FACTORS IN THE NEW PRE-FALL ‘20 COLLECTION? ARE THERE ANY NEW TECHNOLOGIES OR DEVELOPMENTS YOU’RE PARTICULARLY EXCITED ABOUT?

We’ve used some of our staple sustainable fabrics in the Autumn collection. We’re using sustainable viscose, recycled polyester, and regenerated cashmere, and we were very focused on the technology. We work with Canopy to ensure all of our viscose is made from sustainably regulated forests in Sweden. We really took the time to source this fabric as it was important to me that we weren’t contributing to deforestation as this is one of the most serious environmental issues that we face today. I’m always looking to regenerate and rejuvenate our existing resources and that is the approach that I take when sourcing all of my fabrics. Our regenerated cashmere has seven times lower environmental impact than virgin cashmere and is sourced from materials slated to go to landfills. We also introduced KOBA, the first bio-based and recyclable faux fur, made from an innovative new fiber that is made from plant pulp and recycled polyester and feels like real fur.

 

  
WHAT SHOULD CONSUMERS SEEKING TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT BE MINDFUL OF WHEN SHOPPING? 

Today’s consumers are becoming ever more conscious of how they’re living, how they’re eating, what they’re watching, and how they’re spending. I believe that more responsible consumer behavior is essential to moving towards sustainability. I look at luxury fashion as an investment and I believe that when you buy a product it should have an afterlife and be something that can be handed down to a child or friend. At Stella McCartney, we are investing a little bit more over a longer period of time in the quality of our products to make sure that they will last rather than end up in a landfill in a week.

 

  
MANY WOMEN TELL ME THEY LOVE YOUR PIECES FOR THEIR COMFORT AND EASE OF WEAR. IN THAT SENSE, THEY FEEL VERY MODERN. IS THAT SOMETHING YOU’RE CONSCIOUSLY THINKING ABOUT WHEN DESIGNING? 

Thinking about the future of fashion is what inspires and sustains me. Considering the negative impact the fashion industry has had on the environment, I look to technology and design as a solution to these problems. I’m continuously thinking about how clothes reflect who we are, how we’re feeling emotionally, and how clothes can make us feel better or worse. As a woman designing for women, this is always at the forefront of my mind. I truly want to offer a service with my clothes, that anyone from any walk of life can find something that suits them. In such a crowded space, it’s important to me to create pieces that people want and that will have longevity. It’s one of the key points I think of when I begin the designing process. I want the pieces to have a timelessness to them. They have a point of view and a special detail that shines but are still something you can revisit again and again. More so recently, women say to me that they are grateful that as a fashion designer and a businesswoman I try and put the environment first and that I am not killing animals in the name of fashion. That is really exciting to me.
 
 

  
WHAT’S YOUR APPROACH TO NON-APPAREL DESIGN? 

When I first started out, I was told there was no way I could have an accessories business without using leather. People thought I was crazy. I didn’t let that stop me and to now have a handbag and shoe business without using any animal products is crazy brilliant, and I am so proud to be able to offer alternative options to people, like our Falabella bag which has become iconic and most represents what we can do from a design perspective while keeping sustainability at the forefront. This season, we introduced the Emilie boot which is made from our alter-nappa, a non-leather material that has a coating made of 50% vegetable oil which is a renewable and natural resource, and a backing that is made from recycled polyester. Leather and luxury are typically synonymous with each other, but I wanted to approach things differently and prove it was doable without sacrificing style and design. It is the same approach I have in ready-to-wear and I hope that the authenticity resonates with my customer.
                                    
YOU’RE A MOTHER OF FOUR. HOW DOES BEING A WORKING MOM INFLUENCE YOUR COLLECTIONS? 

I believe in the future and I believe in our kids because they are the ones who are going to fight for their lives on this planet. This next generation is beginning to challenge conventions and is becoming more conscious of their impact on this environment. The most modern thing we can do as a house is challenge conventions in the industry and take responsibility. I want to design beautiful, luxurious, and desirable products while remaining responsible, mindful, and ethical. These are the types of values that were instilled in me as a child and that I would like to pass on to my children and the industry. 
 
 

 
YOUR DESIGNS TEND TO BORROW FROM MENSWEAR TAILORING—I ONCE READ THAT YOUR PARENTS WOULD SHARE A WARDROBE, AND THIS KIND OF ANDROGYNY INSPIRED YOU...

There has always been a lot of fluidity in my womenswear. I really love classic tailoring. I studied on Savile Row during my time at Central Saint Martins so those techniques and traditions are evident not only in the tailoring that I do but across the collections.

 

 
A LOT OF PEOPLE ASSOCIATE YOU WITH DAYWEAR, FOR ALL THE REASONS WE’VE TALKED ABOUT ABOVE, YET YOUR POINT OF VIEW ALSO TRANSLATES TO EVENINGWEAR. IT’S MODERN, CLEAN, SOMEWHAT ANDROGYNOUS YET STILL MARKEDLY GLAMOROUS. HOW DO YOU APPROACH OCCASION WEAR? WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU HERE?

I really enjoy designing eveningwear but it wasn’t always the case, I used to find it was a tough place for me. It was something that I hated and loved at the same time. My approach to eveningwear is to challenge it. I like to think, “How can we modernize this?” To make it less of an over-the-top entrance in a room while still looking back at the history of glamour, drawing inspiration from theater and film, and wanting to make something dreamlike and modern and wearable that gives you an escape. It’s my job to make women feel comfortable, effortless, and happy. Often when women wear eveningwear, the dress takes over and comes across as overly complicated and uncomfortable and I don’t think that is the right feeling or message. For me, a starting point of design not just in eveningwear but across categories is always to make something wearable and avoid anything that is unrealistic. It is a balance of delicacy, a level of romance, and allowing the woman wearing the piece to stand out without being overpowered by the design.
                                    
YOU’RE A MOTHER OF FOUR. HOW DOES BEING A WORKING MOM INFLUENCE YOUR COLLECTIONS? 

I believe in the future and I believe in our kids because they are the ones who are going to fight for their lives on this planet. This next generation is beginning to challenge conventions and is becoming more conscious of their impact on this environment. The most modern thing we can do as a house is challenge conventions in the industry and take responsibility. I want to design beautiful, luxurious, and desirable products while remaining responsible, mindful, and ethical. These are the types of values that were instilled in me as a child and that I would like to pass on to my children and the industry. 
 
 

 
YOUR DESIGNS TEND TO BORROW FROM MENSWEAR TAILORING—I ONCE READ THAT YOUR PARENTS WOULD SHARE A WARDROBE, AND THIS KIND OF ANDROGYNY INSPIRED YOU...

There has always been a lot of fluidity in my womenswear. I really love classic tailoring. I studied on Savile Row during my time at Central Saint Martins so those techniques and traditions are evident not only in the tailoring that I do but across the collections.

 

 
A LOT OF PEOPLE ASSOCIATE YOU WITH DAYWEAR, FOR ALL THE REASONS WE’VE TALKED ABOUT ABOVE, YET YOUR POINT OF VIEW ALSO TRANSLATES TO EVENINGWEAR. IT’S MODERN, CLEAN, SOMEWHAT ANDROGYNOUS YET STILL MARKEDLY GLAMOROUS. HOW DO YOU APPROACH OCCASION WEAR? WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU HERE?

I really enjoy designing eveningwear but it wasn’t always the case, I used to find it was a tough place for me. It was something that I hated and loved at the same time. My approach to eveningwear is to challenge it. I like to think, “How can we modernize this?” To make it less of an over-the-top entrance in a room while still looking back at the history of glamour, drawing inspiration from theater and film, and wanting to make something dreamlike and modern and wearable that gives you an escape. It’s my job to make women feel comfortable, effortless, and happy. Often when women wear eveningwear, the dress takes over and comes across as overly complicated and uncomfortable and I don’t think that is the right feeling or message. For me, a starting point of design not just in eveningwear but across categories is always to make something wearable and avoid anything that is unrealistic. It is a balance of delicacy, a level of romance, and allowing the woman wearing the piece to stand out without being overpowered by the design.
                                     
YOU’RE A MOTHER OF FOUR. HOW DOES BEING A WORKING MOM INFLUENCE YOUR COLLECTIONS? 

I believe in the future and I believe in our kids because they are the ones who are going to fight for their lives on this planet. This next generation is beginning to challenge conventions and is becoming more conscious of their impact on this environment. The most modern thing we can do as a house is challenge conventions in the industry and take responsibility. I want to design beautiful, luxurious, and desirable products while remaining responsible, mindful, and ethical. These are the types of values that were instilled in me as a child and that I would like to pass on to my children and the industry. 
 
 

 
YOUR DESIGNS TEND TO BORROW FROM MENSWEAR TAILORING—I ONCE READ THAT YOUR PARENTS WOULD SHARE A WARDROBE, AND THIS KIND OF ANDROGYNY INSPIRED YOU...

There has always been a lot of fluidity in my womenswear. I really love classic tailoring. I studied on Savile Row during my time at Central Saint Martins so those techniques and traditions are evident not only in the tailoring that I do but across the collections.

 

 
A LOT OF PEOPLE ASSOCIATE YOU WITH DAYWEAR, FOR ALL THE REASONS WE’VE TALKED ABOUT ABOVE, YET YOUR POINT OF VIEW ALSO TRANSLATES TO EVENINGWEAR. IT’S MODERN, CLEAN, SOMEWHAT ANDROGYNOUS YET STILL MARKEDLY GLAMOROUS. HOW DO YOU APPROACH OCCASION WEAR? WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU HERE?

I really enjoy designing eveningwear but it wasn’t always the case, I used to find it was a tough place for me. It was something that I hated and loved at the same time. My approach to eveningwear is to challenge it. I like to think, “How can we modernize this?” To make it less of an over-the-top entrance in a room while still looking back at the history of glamour, drawing inspiration from theater and film, and wanting to make something dreamlike and modern and wearable that gives you an escape. It’s my job to make women feel comfortable, effortless, and happy. Often when women wear eveningwear, the dress takes over and comes across as overly complicated and uncomfortable and I don’t think that is the right feeling or message. For me, a starting point of design not just in eveningwear but across categories is always to make something wearable and avoid anything that is unrealistic. It is a balance of delicacy, a level of romance, and allowing the woman wearing the piece to stand out without being overpowered by the design.
                                     
YOU’RE A MOTHER OF FOUR. HOW DOES BEING A WORKING MOM INFLUENCE YOUR COLLECTIONS? 

I believe in the future and I believe in our kids because they are the ones who are going to fight for their lives on this planet. This next generation is beginning to challenge conventions and is becoming more conscious of their impact on this environment. The most modern thing we can do as a house is challenge conventions in the industry and take responsibility. I want to design beautiful, luxurious, and desirable products while remaining responsible, mindful, and ethical. These are the types of values that were instilled in me as a child and that I would like to pass on to my children and the industry. 
 
 

 
YOUR DESIGNS TEND TO BORROW FROM MENSWEAR TAILORING—I ONCE READ THAT YOUR PARENTS WOULD SHARE A WARDROBE, AND THIS KIND OF ANDROGYNY INSPIRED YOU...

There has always been a lot of fluidity in my womenswear. I really love classic tailoring. I studied on Savile Row during my time at Central Saint Martins so those techniques and traditions are evident not only in the tailoring that I do but across the collections.

 

 
A LOT OF PEOPLE ASSOCIATE YOU WITH DAYWEAR, FOR ALL THE REASONS WE’VE TALKED ABOUT ABOVE, YET YOUR POINT OF VIEW ALSO TRANSLATES TO EVENINGWEAR. IT’S MODERN, CLEAN, SOMEWHAT ANDROGYNOUS YET STILL MARKEDLY GLAMOROUS. HOW DO YOU APPROACH OCCASION WEAR? WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU HERE?

I really enjoy designing eveningwear but it wasn’t always the case, I used to find it was a tough place for me. It was something that I hated and loved at the same time. My approach to eveningwear is to challenge it. I like to think, “How can we modernize this?” To make it less of an over-the-top entrance in a room while still looking back at the history of glamour, drawing inspiration from theater and film, and wanting to make something dreamlike and modern and wearable that gives you an escape. It’s my job to make women feel comfortable, effortless, and happy. Often when women wear eveningwear, the dress takes over and comes across as overly complicated and uncomfortable and I don’t think that is the right feeling or message. For me, a starting point of design not just in eveningwear but across categories is always to make something wearable and avoid anything that is unrealistic. It is a balance of delicacy, a level of romance, and allowing the woman wearing the piece to stand out without being overpowered by the design.
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READ MORE: Inspiring Women
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