As a token of appreciation to her clientele and the latest group of Nordstrom exclusives, Stella McCartney came by Seattle on Thursday (November 3) for a super-special event at the downtown location. She had some minutes to spare for an interview, so we asked her about the exclusive pieces, her musical taste and of course, sustainable living.
There's a real glam rock feel to some of the Nordstrom specific pieces, such as the Elyse Derby. For every collection, I'm always overcome with how unique and graceful your designs are, and there is a musical quality to your collections. How does music influence your work?
I'm inspired visually and, of course, auditorily, by music. I think our shows are known for having great music. It's in my blood, and it's in my attitude. It's so present in our daily lives, I could honestly go into a deep psychological conversation about it, but it's absolutely important in my inspiration process. However I don't really listen to it while I'm actually working, it's too distracting! That's how present it is!
Your Spring/Summer show has been called the "feel good moment" of Paris Fashion Week; the runway was completely exhilarating and very feminine. Was this your intent, and how important do you think it is to show this lighter side?
I design and work for women, of all sizes and ages...and I wanted to have a fun women's wardrobe. Fashion takes itself very seriously. There has been a loss of humor and lightness, and I wanted something fresh and real. It was very feminine, and I wanted mostly people to enjoy and experience this breath of fresh air. We choreographed it the night before and kept it very free.
It seems as though the world has finally caught up to you. As a trailblazer for sustainable luxury, the Stella McCartney brand has essentially made it cool to be both vegan and high-end. What's the next step for the line in terms of your ethos?
We're working on sustainable viscose; we have so many new projects and technological developments coming, our mission to kind of be completely ethically responsible in the house. So the new viscose, a project with "regenerated" cashmere...And you know we set these kinds of rules and regulations for ourselves and we're find ourselves saying, "oh no, no PVC, that means we can't use the sequin ever again!" It's really hard [to adhere to], but we have tons of new projects coming up! We're heading down to San Francisco shortly for a special project about this, in fact. We're getting more and more into new [eco-friendly] technologies, which is very exciting. We have very high percentages of sustainability for each collection—recycled polyester, recycled eye wear...the main and biggest contribution to us being sustainable is not using leather and fur. Because at the end of the day, the animal use and consumption in the fashion business is extremely harmful to the environment.
We just recently released a report on environment profit and loss; we're the one of the first fashion houses to do it, and it's taken us three years. We want to measure how we grow and how we improve, how we get better. [And] it's really interesting that the reality is that we're getting more sustainable and our business is growing. It's really remarkable. We are not perfect by any means, but I'm a firm believer that something is better than nothing. We're trying.
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In addition to her commitment to sustainability, McCartney also just recently launched an important initiative with Chelsea Handler for Breast Cancer Awareness 2016; proceeds from the purchase of the lingerie will support the Linda McCartney Centre in the UK and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in the US.
The Nordstrom exclusives will have a special “Stella McCartney <3 Nordstrom” tag and include the PS1 One-Button Wool Jacket, the ‘Mini Falabella’ Studded Faux Leather Star Tote, my personal favorite the ‘Elyse’ Platform Derby and the ‘Love’ In Print Cotton Tee (up in the slideshow).