Stella McCartney’s Bold Move of Buying Back Her Brand
Stella McCartney’s all over the news lately – she only just made the reception dress of the most famous bride in the world, Meghan Markle, now Duchess of Sussex. Yet the British fashion designer is again the talk of the town – she couldn’t have chosen a better timing when it was announced she will be buying back 50% ownership of her fashion brand from Kering. At a time when women are speaking up more and stepping up, it’s the perfect moment and the perfect action from a well-known personality in fashion. Stella’s bold move is like a statement for all women in fashion (as well from other industries), telling them to be more courageous with their career moves.
Who is Stella McCartney?
Her name sounds familiar and it’s no coincidence – Stella McCartney is indeed related to one of the members of The Beatles, Paul McCartney, he’s her father! Her mother is photographer and musician Linda McCartney, Paul’s first wife who passed away in 1998 because of breast cancer. Her father may have been influential, but Stella went through the same process other aspiring designers went through; she went and graduated from the famous Central Saint Martins art and design school in London. She went through fashion related works and in 1997; she succeeded Karl Lagerfeld as creative director of Chloé, a Paris fashion house. Things were definitely going her way, just 4 years after Stella was ready to launch her own fashion brand that’s bearing her name.
How Kering Became Part Owner of Stella McCartney
To be able to launch her Stella McCartney brand, the designer needed backing from an operations partner, which she found through global luxury group, Kering. The Paris-based group also own high end fashion brands like Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Brioni, Boucheron, and Alexander McQueen. It has been said that often that to be able to launch your own fashion brand, a bigger company usually owns the larger shares, so the ‘real owner’ only has portion control. Stella McCartney made headlines back then because she refused the 51 – 49 divisions of shares for her own brand, and she asked for an equal division. Also, one of the stipulation in the deal that was made was an opportunity for Stella to buy back her own brand until a deadline date – March 31, 2018. The famous designer may have made the deal before the said date but only announced the move recently. Perhaps she wanted the royal wedding to happen first, don’t you think?
What Sets the Stella McCartney Brand from the Others?
Stella is a known for being a lifelong vegetarian, a lifestyle that she has incorporated to her brand. To understand her animal advocacy, you have to know a bit about the designer’s childhood and family life with her parents and siblings. Stella was raised by Paul and Linda in place in Sussex that has an organic farm and with animals about, one of them horses. She was raised to have great respect for animals, and she has shown this through some of her designs, like the ones with horses to honor the memory of her late mother who loved to ride them. Stella also do not make use of fur or leather, the alternative being skin-free skin (in replacement of leather) and fur-free-fur (in replacement of real fur). The company also makes it a point to use organic cottons in their products and their boutiques are said to have been built in an eco-friendly way. People are saying that with the complete control that Stella now has on her company, she has a say on the materials used for her brand products now.
A Trend to Follow
Not all fashion brand owners have the same capacity to buy their brands back like Stella McCartney, but her latest move is definitely the start of a new trend. As it is, there is still a gender disparity that exists in the fashion industry. According to a study made by Business of Fashion in 2016, there is a 60% to 40% disparity between male and female creative directors in women’s wear brands, while on executive positions; women occupy just 25% or less.
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