Talking professional ethics and personal accomplishments exclusively to Ohlala…
We’d like to take it back to the beginning… do you remember when you first became aware of fashion, or at least when “style” became a fascination for you?
It’s something I have always known, even from the age of 6 or 7… I used to love all the old films. Audrey Hepburn and Doris Day and would get obsessed with the clothes. Annie Get Your Gun was my absolute favourite – I would watch it and go to my mum’s wardrobe to look at her clothes and try them on.
Tell us about your latest collection? (WINTER 2017)
Faith and love inspire the Winter 2017 collection; I want to reflect the good in people within my work and bring people together in what I do. e collection explores signature Stella classics in a more precise yet effortless way.
What would you say is something that is carried in every season of the brand?
Definitely that balance between masculine and feminine, it’s a theme that I try to always incorporate within all my designs.
How do you think your clothes empower women?
I like to design things that allow women to be themselves but at the same time o er something that they might not have thought of or they wouldn’t have dared to do. I want my designs to allow women to feel strong, feminine, sexy and shine; and not just have people notice the out t but the actual women wearing it.
You have worked very hard to make sure that both your clothes and your company reflect your own ethics – can you tell us more about why it’s personally important to you to keep a sustainable approach?
My first job is to be a fashion designer. My first job is to make desirable, luxurious, beautiful clothing and accessories that women want to buy. But I will always take the opportunity to use a beautiful organic fabric. I obviously don’t use any animal skins or furs in my collections which has a huge impact on the planet. My first decision is always based on: can I do this in a more environmental way without sacrificing design, if I can ;then there is no reason not to.
What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to the fashion industry and how do you overcome some of the challenges this industry brings?
What bothers me sometimes about the fashion world is the sometimes lack of morals and that they are not always doing things for the right reasons. If I’m sympathetic, I can say that they sometimes perhaps overlook the reality of the making – maybe they don’t have the information to think about where the leather or fur is coming from but if I’m realistic I think they do and so I guess I get disappointed with their lack of compassion at times.
How would you go about putting together your perfect day out t that would take you from desk to dinner?
I think you’ve got to have three staple pieces in your collection. You’ve always got to have a perfectly tailored jacket, perfect t pant and if they both make up a suit, then great… to be worn together or to be worn apart. You’ve got to have a great t-shirt too! The basics!
What is the ultimate trend for you that will always transcend time?
I studied after school on Savile Row and tailoring has always been a huge part of what I do, it’s part of the DNA of the brand.
The Middle East market is a very fashion-driven society. Are you excited to bring your shop-in-shop to Saks Fifth Avenue Bahrain and in what ways, if any, is this opening different to others?
I am very excited, it’s definitely an important market for us however I have never been a believer of targeting an area or capitals of the world and separating them off. I think we live in a global age where people read the same magazines, and watch the same TV programmes. Everyone is now more alike due to the internet which has caused the huge communication change that has connected the world. I would not separate the Middle Eastern women, as I do not think they are massively different to a New York or London woman. There are chic Arab women living in Bahrain, in London and in New York, and they travel all over… there is a level of sophistication all over the world.
The Stella McCartney FW17 collection can be found at Saks Fifth Avenue, City Centre Bahrain