Inspired by our INTERSTELLA new collection, our latest editorial explores the power of kids’ imaginations with a trip to the Stella Universe! Join the adventure with our campaign film, and learn more about the shoot in our interview with director Belle Leigh Smith.
The shoot sees our imaginative Stella Kids transforming everyday objects and spaces into intergalactic escapades, as the park becomes a moon landing, and a living room goes anti-gravity. Creativity, curiosity and play are important in helping kids grow, express themselves, and above all, have fun! Which is why this campaign and our new collection are designed to encourage children to follow their wildest dreams.
Shooting Stella stars decorate pieces for girls and boys, while backpacks are turned into rocket ships, and kids become space explorers with astronaut printed T-shirts. As always, sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do, so almost all jersey is made from organic cotton, and eco fabrics like recycled polyester are used throughout. Help kids learn more about sustainability here.
We also spoke to director Belle Leigh Smith about the film, her childhood, and the importance of creativity in kids. Learn more below.
Much of your work has a nostalgic, cinematic quality. How would you describe your aesthetic and how did you develop it?
I have an odd relationship with my early childhood, I put it on a pedestal. Not because my childhood was perfect, but it almost felt like this multi-coloured alternate dream universe where I wore exactly what I wanted and was no one but myself for the most part. I really like pulling from those times and bringing them into the present. On a personal level, I spend a lot of time as a young adult getting back to that girl so it makes sense that I like films that do that.
Can you tell us about how you got your start in directing? What was your first ever major project?
In 2013 I started filming and being in my own little fashion films, mock movie- trailers and music videos. I was making so much that I posted them all on the internet. They gained traction and I was able to work at some production companies, brands and then decide to go to film school for directing. My first “major” directing project was for Mary Katrantzou’s first campaign film… But I’d say every project I’ve done has been major for me regardless of how small or big the production was. The bigger projects get, the more I value the things I made by myself.
You’ve lived in countries and cities all over the world, including Illinois, Singapore and Finland. How has this influenced your life and your work?
Travelling at an early age taught me not only about Europe and Asia’s history, art and culture, but really how to take on the perspectives of a lot of different people. I had to make a lot of places my own home and met so many diverse people I constantly was shifting my own internal relativity. Meeting so many people and moving more than the average person probably pressured me to build a strong sense of individuality and purpose. Living in Finland and travelling Europe exposed me to the world of fashion and was the catalyst for making the little fashion videos I did at that time. When I was re-introduced to American filmmakers, the films from the perspective of other countries, it made me fall in love with their work so much more.
Is this one of your first times working with kids? What was the experience like?
This was one of my first times working with kids in a setting like this and I really enjoyed myself. I absolutely loved working with [them and] even though this was shot a couple of months ago, I still find myself randomly laughing about the different moments and things George and Brooklyn said and did on set. They also remind you that the things you’re worried about aren’t always as important as they seem so I loved the grounding effect they had.
The film is about the power of a kid’s imagination. Were you an imaginative kid?
I really remember making little art projects and just doing that for days on end and that would become my new world. I was very shy but liked to show off and express myself through the things I made. Always with a camera, drawing or humming songs. I genuinely renamed myself at three years old after watching a Disney movie so I guess I was also a bit delusional!
Why do you think it’s important to foster creativity in children? What can we do to support this?
I think that creativity and art needs to be taken more seriously in education. Just like Math, Science or English, creativity is something we use every single day without really knowing it, and creative expression is a very crucial element of being human. If we can help the next generation cultivate and understand creativity, the arts and innovative thinking, we might be surprised by the problems that can be solved.
What was it like working with the Stella McCartney team? What attracted you to the brand and the project?
The whole day was such a treat, everyone on the Stella McCartney team has been so collaborative and imaginative with the entire process. Thank you everyone for all your help throughout this project. Because I resonate with the brand’s style so much, I felt very much at home with everything. I’ve always loved the fact that the brand not only radiates this authentic, playful and thoughtful approach to creativity but promotes sustainable fashion. The brand is so cool on so many levels.