Stella McCartney was born in London, the second child of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman. She is named after her maternal great-grandmothers: both of Linda McCartney’s grandmothers were named Stella. As a young girl, McCartney travelled the globe with her 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 fame, the McCartneys wanted their children to lead as normal a life as possible so Stella and her siblings attended the local state school in East Sussex, one of them being Bexhill College. McCartney has said that while attending state school, she was a victim of bullying, as well as a bully herself.
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.
She studied fashion design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in the early 1990s. Her graduation collection in 1995 was modeled 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.
As a strict vegetarian, McCartney does not use fur 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. However, Stella will use wool, silk, and other animal-derived fabrics in her designs too.
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.” Despite that initial skepticism, McCartney’s designs enjoyed considerable commercial and critical success. She was accompanied to Chloé by her assistant and friend Phoebe Philo, who later replaced her as design director.
In 2001, McCartney resigned from Chloé in order to enter into an eponymous joint venture with Gucci. The line has four stores; one in New York City, which opened September 2002, one in Mayfair, which opened April 2004, one in Los Angeles which she opened on her birthday in September 2005 and included an expansion into the perfume market, and most recently one in Hong Kong, which opened in 2008.
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, 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 blossom floral water. Dutch model Bette Franke stars in the line’s advertisements.
In 2004, she designed clothes for Madonna’s Re-Invention Tour, Annie Lennox’s summer tour, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s and Jude Law’s costumes for the film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
She also launched a joint-venture line with Adidas, establishing a long-term partnership with the corporation in September 2004. This line is a sports performance collection for women called ‘Adidas by Stella McCartney’. The collection includes apparel for swim, gym, running, tennis and wintersports, as well as bags. McCartney’s favorite pieces in the collection come with a special reflector keychain. In early 2006, the keychain was in the shape of a pink heart and in later 2006, it was in the shape of a gray wolf’s head. In January 2007, Stella McCartney announced that she will be adding a branch called Gym Yoga to her sports range for Adidas. Gym Yoga spring/summer 2007 collection is inspired by ballet and dance uniforms. The collection features double-layered tank tops with deep necklines, low-waisted skinny trousers and lightweight rubber shoes. Her Adidas contract was extended until 2010.
In 2005, she designed a range of clothing and accessories for H&M to boost public awareness of her own brand and to create more affordable options for her fans. The line was released in November of that year and sold out almost immediately on launch day, due to the similarity (in many cases, almost direct copies) between her expensive main line and the H&M line.
On March 12, 2007, Stella McCartney’s limited edition 42-piece range was released to just 100 Target stores exclusively in Australia. The range was priced from $30 for a silk scarf to $200 for a taffeta trench coat. The collection was made in China. Scenes of near hysteria broke out as women stormed the stores to buy the collection. A problem was “clothing scalpers”, who bought up large amounts of the range to resell on eBay at a high mark-up. Later, a large number of buyers returned their Stella clothes to Target complaining of strange, non-standard sizing that was bigger than the norm. A Target spokesperson defended the range saying that Stella’s look was “generous” and “oversized.” Later, returned Stella clothes languished on the racks having had their prices slashed by up to 60 percent.
In January 2008, McCartney’s collaboration with lingerie label Bendon will be released to department stores, speciality stores and Stella McCartney stores. The lingerie is to come in the colours of her signature palette: antique pink, blue, grey, and cream.
In early 2008, McCartney will be releasing a line of handbags for LeSportsac. The collection will have 30 to 40 styles and will range from $200-$500. The collection will consist of travel bags, luggage, baby accessories and bags for mothers with infants and toddlers. The line will be sold at high end retailers, the Los Angeles and New York Stella McCartney stores, select LeSportsac boutiques, and will be available for purchase online.
Since starting her own label McCartney has has also collaborated on projects with several artists including Gary Hume, R. Crumb, Jeff Koons, David Remfry and Ed Ruscha.
Some in the press have suggested that McCartney’s meteoric rise through the fashion industry was partly due to nepotism; however she has always claimed that she would have been a famous fashion designer even if her dad hadn’t been Paul McCartney. In particular, it has been suggested that Vendome, owners of the Chloé house, appointed her as much for the wave of publicity the appointment would generate as for her talent. In recent times, however, most commentators have said that she is entirely capable. Indeed, Vogue magazine wrote that “her first collection for the house Chloé, shown in Paris in October 1997, quickly dispelled any doubts about her talent.”
McCartney went to Saint Martins where she did not receive a first class degree, unlike the other internationally famous Saint Martins Alumni, such as John Galliano and Hussein Chalayan, adding to the speculation that it was her name rather than her talent which lead to the Chloé appointment. Despite this, she is known in the fashion industry as “Stella Steel” or “Unstoppable Stella.”
In November 2007, Stella designed a silver necklace featuring a single leg, an apparent attack on her father’s estranged wife Heather Mills, an amputee. Fashion insiders thought it was “edgy”, but also a bit “out of order.”
McCartney married publisher Alasdhair Willis on August 30, 2003 at Mount Stuart House, the Stately home of the Marquess of Bute on the Isle of Bute, Scotland. McCartney’s wedding dress was an updated version of her mother’s wedding dress from her March 1969 marriage ceremony to Paul McCartney. She designed the dress with Tom Ford, her boss at Gucci. The service was attended by Gwyneth Paltrow, Liv Tyler, Pierce Brosnan, and Madonna.
Their first child, son Miller Alasdhair James Willis, was born February 25, 2005, weighing 7 lb. 7 oz. Their second child, daughter Bailey Linda Olwyn Willis, was born December 8, 2006, weighing 7 lb. 14 oz. Stella gave birth to her second son and third child Beckett Robert Lee Willis on January 8, 2008. Her three children were born in London, England.
Stella is a member of The Royal British Legion Paddington Branch, as is her husband. Even though her mother was raised Jewish, Stella doesn’t consider herself Jewish.
In addition to her elder sisters and younger brother, Stella has a much younger half-sister, Beatrice Milly McCartney, born in October 28, 2003 to her father and his (now divorced) second wife Heather Mills.
Designed Madonna’s wedding dress. 
For her graduation fashion from St. Martin’s, Stella featured a song by her father, “Stella May Day”, and her clothes were modeled by friends Kate Moss, Yasmin Le Bon and Naomi Campbell.
Is an active member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA].
She is the daughter of former Beatle Paul McCartney and the late Linda McCartney.
Was the head designer for Chloé.
Studied at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design.
Her traumatic birth compelled her famous father to pray that she be born “on the wings of an angel”. This quote inspired Paul to name his upcoming band – “Wings”.
Married publisher boyfriend Alasdhair Willis in Scotland on August 30, 2003.
Younger half-sister of pottery designer Heather McCartney
Designs for her own label, under the umbrella of Gucci Group.
Older half-sister of Beatrice Milly McCartney
Stepdaughter of Heather Mills
Is a vegetarian.
Welcomed her first child, a boy, Miller Alasdhair James Willis in London. The baby weighed 7lbs, 7ozs. [25 February 2005]
Launched a range of affordable clothing with H&M in 2005, following in the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld – for the second time, as he was head designer of Chloe before she took the title.
Friends with actress Liv Tyler, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson.
Younger sister of photographer Mary McCartney
Older sister of musician/sculptor James McCartney.
Sister-in-law of Alistair Donald
Named after both of her maternal great-grandmothers: both of Linda McCartney’s grandmothers were named Stella.
Considers her mother, the late rock photographer, musician and activist Linda McCartney, to be a fashion icon.
Aunt of older sister Mary McCartney’s two sons, Arthur Alistair Donald (b. 3 April 1999) and Elliot Donald (b. 1 August 2002).
Established a long-term partnership with Adidas in September 2004, launching a critically acclaimed sports performance collection for women, “Adidas by Stella McCartney”.
Friends with actress Kate Hudson
The line, “Suitable for vegetarians” can be found on the bottoms of her line of shoes.
Her second child with husband Alasdhair Willis was born on 8th December 2006, a baby girl named Bailey Linda Olwyn Willis who weighed 7lbs 14oz. The baby’s middle name is after Stella’s late mother Linda McCartney.
Her third child with husband Alasdhair Willis was born on 8th January 2008, a baby boy named Beckett Robert Lee Willis. The baby’s middle name, Lee, is after Stella’s late maternal grandfather, Lee Eastman.
“I can honestly say this industry hasn’t made me neurotic about my looks, except maybe my weight. I hope my clothes kind of reflect that. They’re meant to make you feel good, not give you more hang-ups.”
“I have been struggling furiously all my life to be independent.”
“I was in this stadium with 200,000 people looking at my mum and dad. That was mind-bending.” – on her parents’ fame