When Linda McCartney died in 1998, the world lost a powerful advocate for animal rights. It appears that one of her daughters, Stella McCartney, a high profile fashion designer, is very much following in her footsteps. Daughter of former Beatle Paul and Linda, she has held fast to the ideals taught to her by her famous parents.
Stella is said to be the only high end designer who refuses to use leather in her handbags and shoes. Quoted in a recent article in the New York Times Magazine (Feb.2012) she said "Obviously I believe using crocodile or leather to make a handbag is cruel. But it is also not modern, you're not pushing innovation." This reflects also her mother's influence, who never worried too much about the critics. Many of Stella's designs seem to say "This is me, whether you like it or not".
McCartney also lobbies for PETA, as her parents did, and has appeared in a recent graphic video that exposes inhumane practices in the leather goods industry.
At one point in her career, she was offered a creative-directive job at Gucci, despite her protest that she refuses to work with leather or fur. The story she tells is that Tom Ford of Gucci brought her into his studio to try and persuade her to take the offer and showed her designs with exotic skins and hamster fur! She laughs when she tells the story, and says that maybe he thought all those furs would "turn her on" and make her change her entire ethic. She did not take the job and has her own successful line, animal free.
McCartney does not hype her beautiful products based on her ethical beliefs. She wants her bags and shoes to be selected by consumers because they are beautifully designed. It is so wonderful to have such a poewerful advocate for animal rights at such an international level. Bravo Stella!
Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)