In Conversation with Stella McCartney

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Photo by Mary McCartney

Since launching in 2001, Stella McCartney has become one of the biggest names in fashion. Her brand possesses a signature style of sharp tailoring, natural confidence and sexy femininity that has resonated with women around the world. McCartney’s commitment to sustainability is evident throughout each collections and is part of the brand’s mission to be a responsible and honest company. We sat down with the designer to discuss her latest Pre-Fall collection, how she wants women to feel in her clothes, and what changes she hopes to see in the industry over the next decade.

Bergdorf Goodman: Describe the Stella McCartney pre-fall woman.

Stella McCartney: The Stella woman is always effortlessly sexy and natural; she looks at modernity, responsibility, and sustainability and it’s no different for this season.  We were looking at how to enjoy fashion and make it wearable in a way that feels new but not too overpowering.

We explored the multiple facets of a woman’s wardrobe and played with graphic prints, textures and bold silhouettes.

We take the Stella woman from day to night in workwear with a feminine twist, cinched waists and ruffled hems, while also having incredibly sharp and modern tailoring, and for evening we did these deconstructed lingerie pieces for an effortlessly sexy attitude.

BG: What pieces would you consider essentials for pre-fall?

SM: We introduced a new trainer, the Loop. I find it really exciting, it’s another step forward with sustainability and technology.  We designed the Loop for over 18 months and it is put together with no glue whatsoever, no animal or chemical glue. The pieces all fit together like a puzzle and then it is stitched together and held in place with specially designed hooks.  The entire shoe can be taken apart and each part recycled.  It is a massive innovation that I am really proud of.


BG: When clients wear your collections, how do you want them to feel?

SM: I want them to feel effortless, modern, and naturally sexy.  We provide a service to women in that we have something for everyone.  It does not matter age or size, you can find something in our collections.  Our point of difference that contributes to how women feel in the clothes is that we’re a more mindful, responsible fashion house and that point comes across in how you feel when you put on something from the collection…

BG: How has the brand’s sustainability evolved since you launched the label?

SM: We’re always looking at new ways to be better and to better our practice.  I’m working on changing things that are currently conventional in my industry, it’s one of the things that really excites me.  We’ve been working a lot with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation on promoting a more circular economy, and looking at the fabrics we waste. We also collaborated with Bolt Threads on alternative fabrics; a vegan silk and mylo as a substitute to leather. Sustainability and innovation is really what drives me, challenges me, and defines the modernity of the brand.

BG: What would you like to see change in the fashion industry in the next 10 years with regard to sustainability?

SM: Hopefully we will be more mindful in our consumption, and that technology will have evolved into a place where we can save the planet and the creatures we share it with.  I’d like to see more questioning of the process.  Fashion has to modernize, it has to challenge its history.  More than fifty million animals a year are killed in the name of fashion, and that has to stop.  It is not ethical, responsible, or sustainable.  It’s time to reconsider this industry and the impact it’s having on the planet.



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