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Stella McCartney was born in London, the daughter of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney, an American rock music photographer famous for her support of vegetarianism and range of vegetarian food. As a strict vegetarian herself, McCartney does not use fur, silk, lambswool or leather in her designs and supports PETA. Some of McCartney's designs have text that elaborates on her no animal policy; for example, one of her jackets for Adidas says, "suitable for sporty vegetarians" on the sleeve. Her father is also known for supporting PETA by protesting against designers who use animal fur, and those who wear it.
She is named for her maternal great-grandmothers: both of Linda McCartney's grandmothers were named Stella. As a young girl, McCartney travelled the globe with her famous parents and their pop group Wings, along with her siblings: older half-sister Heather (who was legally adopted by Paul McCartney), older sister Mary, and younger brother James. According to her father, the name of Wings was inspired by Stella's difficult birth. As his daughter was being born by emergency caesarean section, Paul sat outside the operating room and prayed that she be born "on the wings of an angel." Wings toured from shortly after her birth in 1971 until 1980.
Despite their immense fame, the McCartneys wanted their children to lead as normal an existence as possible so Stella and her siblings attended the local state school in East Sussex. McCartney said that while attending state school, she was a victim of bullying.
Stella McCartney became interested designing clothes at age 12, when she made her first jacket. Three years later, she interned for Christian Lacroix, working on his first fashion design collection, honing her skills on Savile Row for a number of years.
McCartney studied fashion design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in the early 1990s. Her graduation collection in 1995 was modelled by friends and supermodels Naomi Campbell, Yasmin Le Bon and Kate Moss – for free – at the graduation runway show. The collection was shown to a song penned by her famous father, called "Stella May Day." The show made front-page news, and the entire collection was sold to Tokio, a London boutique. The designs were licensed to Browns, Joseph, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.
In 1998 she designed her sister Mary's wedding dress for her wedding to television producer Alistair Donald.
Chloé, Gucci, CARE
After two collections, in March 1997 McCartney was appointed chief designer of Paris fashion house Chloé, following in the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld. Lagerfeld was less than impressed with the house's choice, famously stating: "Chloé should have taken a big name. They did, but in music, not fashion. Let's hope she's as gifted as her father." McCartney's designs enjoyed considerable commercial and critical success. She was accompanied to the design House by her assistant and friend Phoebe Philo, who later took over as design director after McCartney left.
In 2001, she resigned from Chloé in order to enter into an eponymous joint venture with Gucci. The line has three stores, one in New York City (September 2002), one in Mayfair (April 2004) and one in Los Angeles, which opened in September 2003, when she both opened the store and expanded her brand into perfume on her birthday.
Stella McCartney received the VH1/Vogue Designer of the Year award in 2000. Paul McCartney presented the award to his daughter. She thanked him in her acceptance speech and dedicated the award to her late mother. Also in 2000, McCartney designed Madonna's wedding dress for her marriage to Guy Ritchie. Her older sister, Mary McCartney, served as the wedding photographer.
In January 2007, Stella McCartney launched a skincare line called CARE. The 100% organic line includes seven products, from a cleansing milk made with lemon balm and apricot, to green tea and linden blo
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