Both Stella McCartney and her namesake line of sustainable products are more charming up close and personal. The British designer was the guest of Nordstrom at its flagship store on Thursday, November 3 to launch an exclusive to Nordstrom line of products. They include: a PS1 One-Button Wool jacket ($1,295); an “Elyse” platform derby shoe ($1,100); a “Love” print cotton T-shirt ($245) and a “Mini-Falabella” studded faux-leather tote ($1,010)
Stella McCartney, the fashion house, is a completely vegetarian business that uses no fur, feathers or leather. It both values and promotes sustainability and environmentally responsible business practices.
A prime example of this is the environmental profit and loss (EP&L) accounting that Stella McCartney has been using since 2013. EP&L accounting measures impact on natural capital and places a monetary value on the environmental costs. The company says that this approach allows a more accurate impact comparison between the alternative materials it uses and leather. It can also inform product design, sourcing decisions and manufacturing research and development to better mitigate and manage environmental costs.
Stella McCartney’s commitment to the principles of her vegetarian business practices have made her a pioneer in luxury fashion. At one time, creating an iconic handbag without leather was unheard of. Despite being told it would be impossible, McCartney introduced the now iconic Falabella bag in 2010, and it continues to be a best selling item.
The latest collection features the “Falabella Box” which was designed as a “friend” of the original bag. The Falabella Box is meant to “celebrate the original” the designer says, and be a partner to it in the collection.
A Star Still On the Rise
Speaking with us at Nordtsorm, McCartney told us that, “she had always wanted to be a fashion designer.” She certainly made a name for herself in fashion from a young age. After graduating from Central St Martins in 1995, she went on to become the Creative Director of Chloe in Paris. McCartney launched her fashion house in a partnership with Kering as a 50/50 joint venture and showed her first collection in Paris in October 2001.
It requires great integrity to remain true to core values of sustainability as a business expands, and McCartney’s commitment has been repaid with devoted fans and acclaim over the years. McCartney became the first designer ever commissioned to create uniforms for Olympic teams across all events, when adidas brought her on for Team Great Britain in 2012. She was given an Officer of the British Empire award the following year and reprised her Olympic design role for the 2016 Games in Rio.
Today, the brand offers ready-to-wear, accessories, lingerie, eyewear, fragrance and kids clothing. A second fragrance, POP, was launched earlier this year, as well as McCartney’s first swimwear line. She will soon debut her first menswear collection for Fall 2017. Felines are a motif in her latest whimsical collection, but she intimated at Nordstrom that her designs may not always feature animals. However, we were told to expect “a small creature” would make an appearance in her collection for Fall 2017. The exact identity of the fashionable critter was kept under wraps.
Stella McCartney on What’s Next
We sat down for our interview in an intimate space at the Nordstrom Flagship store before joining festive party of guests. She was dressed in her own Ruffled Shark Bite Hem Dress and heels. It’s hard to not be smitten when one meets her in person. She was just as personable and thoughtful as one might expect of a person whose business is fundamentally attached to ethics and innovation. Similarly, the wit and whimsy of her designs is rooted in her warm sense of humor.
What was striking was that, in addition to using her business to push for better stewardship of our environment, McCartney also has a deep commitment to her customers and how she can “serve them,” as she put it. Her luxury house approaches and connects to customers through lightness and humor. She cares what we think, and it shows.
McCartney told us her starting point of design is normally a reflection on where she arrived in the previous collection and where she wants to go. A trip to Egypt to find inspiration in the pyramids is in the works, as well as a “meeting in San Francisco for a top-secret new project.” She is excited about her beauty line at the moment because she says she is looking forward to “introducing it to a new generation of girls.”
Creative projects and charities are a big part of the multi-faceted organization. A favorite of mine, the online Stella McCartney styling series, Double Act, focuses on collaborating with pairs that give their take on styling Stella. The designer told me that the series partnerships happen organically, whether it is with an artist whom she admires or with long-time friends. The latest is the mother/daughter duo Lucie de la Falaise and Ella Richards, whom she has known since childhood.
On a final personal note, I couldn’t resist resist sharing with Ms. McCartney that my own Falabella bag that I carried to the interview was the catalyst for me becoming the fashion writer for Vanguard Seattle. When Executive Editor Sarah Caples spotted me with it years ago, she introduced herself to me, and three years later there I sat talking with the designer herself. Walk softly, and carry a Falabella.
Stella McCartney x Nordstrom 2016 Line
Shop pieces from Stella McCartney x Nordstrom in stores and online.