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Stella McCartney
a long time ago
"Stella McCartney was born in 1972, the daughter of ex-Beatle Sir Paul and Linda McCartney. She first hit the headlines herself in 1995, when she graduated from London's Central St Martins College of Art & Design. Her graduation show, attended by her super-famous parents, featured pals Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss modelling her clothes on the catwalk.

Unsurprisingly, the student show became front page news around the world and the entire collection was snapped up by London boutique Tokio. McCartney launched her eponymous label the same year. Despite her newfound celebrity, she had already served a long apprenticeship in fashion. At 15, she worked with Christian Lacroix on his first couture collection and later spent several years learning her craft on Savile Row.

McCartney was appointed chief designer at the French couture house Chloe in March 1997. Succeeding Karl Lagerfeld in one of the most high profile posts in the industry, McCartney's appointment was viewed by many as simply an astute publicity stunt on the part of Chloe's owners, the Vendôme group. However, her first collection for the house, shown in Paris in October 1997, quickly dispelled any doubts about her talent. Sensual and romantic, the collection teamed lacy petticoat skirts with fine tailoring and was hailed a triumph. Her delicate camisoles and Nineties updates of the Seventies trousersuit fast became the talk of the catwalk circuit. The following season, Chloe execs proved that her efforts had not only raised the house's profile, but had lifted its profits too.

Following the death of her mother in April 1998, Stella stepped up her fight against the maltreatment of animals, a cause Linda had always held dear. A month later, during Fur Fashion Week, she teamed up with PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to release a video championing animal rights.

In April 2000, she renewed her contract with Chloe, amid reports that she had turned down the offer of a position at rival house Gucci, because Gucci would have required her to work with leather. Exactly one year later, Gucci confirmed that they had signed McCartney up, with a view to developing her own label as a global luxury brand. The Chloe job was awarded to her righthand woman, Phoebe Philo. "
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