The daughter of former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney and his first wife, the late Linda, Stella was no stranger to fame from an early age. One of four children [at that time], as a young child she travelled extensively with her parents and their successful band ‘Wings’.
Born in London in 1971 by the time she was school age the family lived in Sussex and along with her siblings she attended local state schools. Her parents believed that despite their fame the children should have the opportunity to mix with ordinary kids and this would help to keep their feet on the ground although Stella has said she was bullied at this time. As teenagers they were encouraged to take jobs to earn their own money, a strategy which seems to have worked, as unlike many children with celebrity parents they all seem pretty normal.
As a fifteen year old Stella had the opportunity to intern for Christian Lacroix and helped on his first couture collection she also worked for her Dad’s Savile Row tailor, Edward Sexton for a time. On completing a fashion design course at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design in London in 1995, her student collection caused quite a stir, not so much for the designs on show but the fact they were modelled by friends Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Yasmin Le Bon — for free!
Stella was appointed Chief Designer at the Paris fashion house ‘Chloe’ in 1997, which raised plenty of eyebrows in the fashion industry but she was later credited with turning a label in the doldrums into a desirable one. In 2000 she was presented with the VH1/Vogue Designer of the Year by her father and about this time left ‘Chloe’ for a joint venture with ‘Gucci’.
More recently she has produced a sell out collection of affordable fashion for High Street store H&M, a range of acclaimed sportswear for women and has collaborated with Adidas. Her range now also includes shoes, lingerie, handbags and perfume.
A vegetarian like her parents, and a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, she uses no leather or fur in her designs and is committed to the use of new and alternative fabrics, her shoes are made from a plant derived leather. Celebrity clients include Natalie Portman, Gwyneth Paltrow and she designed Madonna’s wedding dress.
Married in 2003 to Alasdhair Willis she wore an updated version of the dress her mother wore when marrying Paul in 1969. She now has four children and splits her time between London and a country house in Gloucestershire.
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