post McCartney A to Z Manifesto: Spring 2021 Collection

My A to Z originated during lockdown; a moment of pause that allowed our community to reflect and return to the world more mindful. A guiding alphabet, each of the 26 letters is a conversation about our values, brought to life through the visions of global artists – ranging from next-gen talents to friends like Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Koons, Sam Taylor-Johnson and more.

Discover the 26 artworks:

 Blending fashion, art and sustainability, the McCartney A to Z Manifesto: Spring 2021 Collection embodies who we are and who we hope to be. Boldly expressing our brand while simultaneously questioning everything we do, we re-energised iconic moments and evolved the naturally free ease and progressive femininity that have become our signatures. It is inspired by and made for Stella women – past, present and future,

x Stella

Discover our McCartney A to Z Manifesto: Spring 2021 Collection in-store  and online 

A is for Accountable

Artwork by Rashid Johnson

 

About Look A

Holding ourselves accountable to our circular ambitions, our limited-edition Adrienne coat is made from archival Fur Free Fur repurposed from our Autumn 2019 and Winter 2019 collections. We upcycled this existing fabric to produce as many garments as we could without using new materials, and are committed to making the linear textiles system circular.

 

The Art

Accountability, 2020

© Rashid Johnson

 

“The A represents this time of anxiety and accountability. The letter lives inside a square, and outside of it. The anarchy symbol is in a circle. This A gives it a different home and meaning. That’s intentional.” – Rashid Johnson

Born in Chicago, Rashid Johnson is an American conceptual artist and filmmaker whose practice is defined by its critical evocations and entangling of racial and cultural identities, Black history and mysticism.

B is for British

Artwork by Peter Blake

 

About Look B

This timeless British suit pays homage Stella’s Savile Row training, mentored by Edward Sexton. Her parents had a shared wardrobe and love of tailoring, inspiring our signature dichotomy of femininity and masculinity expressed through our oversized Aya jacket and Louise trousers. Preserve your Stella suit and our planet by washing and dry cleaning it as little as possible.

 

The Art

Dazzle Alphabet, Letter B, 2017

© Peter Blake

 

“I knew Stella when she was a little girl. At one of her birthday celebrations when she was grown up, I discovered she had no godparents, so I offered to be her ‘fairy godfather’.” – Peter Blake

Sir Peter Blake has been a close family friend since he made the landmark 1967 album cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Internationally renowned as a founding father of Pop Art, his much-loved and vastly prolific work as a painter and collagist inimitably celebrates British folk art, advertising, celebrity figures and fairground signs.

C is for Conscious

Artwork by Chantal Joffe

 

About Look C

Our sculptural Leanna trench coat is made consciously from plant-based materials, with the interior being sustainable linen and the printed exterior in cotton. Its cheeky cow motif is a knowing wink at classic leather outerwear. Linen is an eco-friendly fibre that uses significantly less water and pesticides compared to conventional cotton.

 

The Art

Naked as the Letter C, 2020

Self-portrait

© Chantal Joffe, Victoria Miro Gallery

 

“I chose to paint myself as the letter C because it’s my initial. It felt like the simplest way to be conscious was to become the letter itself.” – Chantal Joffe

Chantal Joffe is known for her arresting large-scale paintings and portraits representing women and children. Her iconic depictions are often intimate, imbued with humour and testify to the concerns and mores of women from diverse walks of life.

D is for Desire

Artwork by Erté

 

About Look D

Desirability is essential for sustainability, creating clothing women fantasise about wearing – that is worth caring for and cherished as considered investments; the opposite of disposable. This is personified in the effortless sensuality of our Alessandra dress, made from Q-NOVA® recycled nylon lace and lace trims repurposed from our Summer 2018 collection.

 

The Art

The Alphabet Series, 1967

© Erté Archives

 

“I’ve chosen the D to stand for Desire based on the goddess-and-showgirl fantasy alphabet Erté illustrated in the 20s. No matter what else we do, aiming to be desirable is everything we enjoy about designing clothes for women to have the greatest time in.” – Stella

Romain de Tirtoff was born in St Petersburg in 1892. Practicing under his pseudonym Erté, he spent most of his life in Paris as an illustrator and silent movie costume and set designer – his creations glittering through an era working for MGM, the Folies Bergère, Harper’s Bazaar and many more.

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E is for Effortless

Artwork by Cindy Sherman

 

About Look E

The quintessential Stella woman’s style is effortless yet elevated, with a naturally free spirit embodied in our Soft Shape knit jumper and trousers. They are made with 100% traceable, forest-friendly viscose sourced from sustainably managed, certified forests in Sweden.

 

The Art

Untitled, 2020

© Cindy Sherman

 

“I was using my body to make a letter E, trying to make the figure seem like an elfin, woodland fairy or some such type of creature – just to blend the figure into the scenery. It wasn’t entirely effortless to fiddle with the apps that tweaked my initial photo, but the initial photo was effortless.” – Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman’s uncanny portraiture depicts women across historical paintings, fashion and pornography. Stella has been a long-time admirer of Sherman’s work and invited the artist to pick menswear and archive pieces in order to subvert gender in an exhibit at Metro Pictures in New York City in 2020.

F is for Falabella

Artwork by Lorenzo Vitturi

 

About Look F

Debuted in 2009, our vegan Falabella bag has since become iconic to our brand. Reimagined here as a limited-edition one-off by legendary American textiles artist and friend Sheila Hicks, it has evolved with our sustainable mission; the lining is recycled polyester and its diamond-cut body chains are made from lower-impact aluminium. Crafted with a slouchy, cruelty-free alternative, it was foundational in making animal-free luxury accessories widely desirable – with an environmental impact up to 24 times lower than leather and suede.

 

The Art

Untitled, 2020

© Lorenzo Vitturi

 

Italian-born, London-based multimedia artist Lorenzo Vitturi’s practice blends photography, sculpture and performance. His site-specific interventions often highlight products – deconstructing them and attributing a visual narrative to their story and aesthetic.

G is for Grateful

Artwork by George Condo

 

About Look G

Visually expressing the gratitude she feels for the community of creative forces that surround her, Stella made our gold Laura dress using repurposed material from our Spring 2018 collection – creating a rare, exclusive piece minimising our waste and use of raw, virgin materials.

 

The Art

Untitled, 2020

© George Condo

 

“G for Grateful is all I can be, for being lucky enough to be an artist. I’m grateful to bring paintings into the world and for people to enjoy them.” – George Condo

George Condo is an American contemporary artist celebrated for his unique figurative paintings and prints, featuring fractured portraits and aggressive imagery. His work often recontextualises paintings from the Old Masters with allusions to contemporary American culture, blending their imagery and techniques with aesthetics that echo Pablo Picasso and Willem de Kooning.

H is for Humour

Artwork by Alex Israel

 

About Look H

Humour is core to Stella’s conscious mission; while sustainability is serious, we don’t always have to be. We sent models wearing creature costumes down our Winter 2020 catwalk, who now are holding our iconic, vegan Falabella bags. Using alternatives to animal leather prevents deforestation, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the spread of harmful tanning chemicals.

 

The Art

H for Humour, 2020

© Alex Israel

 

“I chose H because H is also for home, Hollywood, hillside and heist. I don’t know why, but I had a vision of the H from the Hollywood sign. Hitchhiking. Or maybe it was hijacked?” – Alex Israel

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Alex Israel’s work riffs on Hollywood culture and the cult of celebrity – expressing his wit through airbrushed paintings in wavy, light-hearted gradients. Playing with the nostalgia and Americana that his hometown is steeped in, his practice never shies away from a humorous tone.

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I is for Intimacy

Artwork by Urs Fischer

 

About Look I

Stella women are effortlessly sensual, celebrated as an intimate connection with themselves and Mother Earth. Stellawear is kind to both the body and the planet. Worn interchangeably as swimwear and underwear, this versatile range shapes the form using ECONYL® regenerated nylon yarn, made from post-consumer waste and ocean plastics, and ROICA™️ eco-smart fibres. It is also UV-tested and chlorine and saltwater-safe.

 

The Art

My daughter, Charlotte MacLeod & her stuffed animals, 2020

© Urs Fischer

 

“I was Facetiming Urs when I asked him what letter he’d like to illustrate. Instead of answering, he stood up and imitated an I. And then he sent this lovely photo of his daughter.” – Stella

Swiss-born contemporary visual artist Urs Fischer has previously collaborated with Stella, having creatively contributed to our “All Is Love” capsule collection and our Winter 2017 campaign. Fischer’s art is subversive and challenges the material and conceptual limits of the mediums he works in.

J is for Joy

Artwork by Hou Zichao

 

About Look J

Embodying a natural free spirit inspired by Stella’s mother, Linda, our Rory mini dress is feminine, light and easy to wear. It is adorned with whimsical embroidery in a soft blue and is a light-hearted reminder that fashion is joyful; fashion is escapism; fashion is positive.

 

The Art

J, 2020

© Hou Zichao

 

“Joy to me is the atmosphere I feel when I’m driving down a shady path and the sun is pouring on me through the leaves.” – Hou Zichao

From paintings to installations, Chinese multimedia artist Hou Zichao’s practice uses diverse visual languages to express the clash of humanity and Mother Earth and the distance between the artificial and the natural in a contemporary cultural context. Educated in London at Central Saint Martins and Chelsea College of Art and Design, he has had solo exhibits in Beijing and Shanghai.

K is for Kindness

Artwork by Jeff Koons

 

About Look K

With a family mindset and spirit, we endeavour to be kind to the planet and all the creatures who inhabit it. Our hippie Kind intarsia jumper is inspired by Stella’s mother Linda’s sunny disposition, joyfully expressed through thick, prismatic knits made three-dimensional through rich embroidery and a hand-knit feel.

 

The Art

Kindness, 2020

© Jeff Koons

 

“Kindness means to be there for someone, and to offer your ongoing support. I have been using the symbol of offering through the gesture of the hand offering flowers. It’s a symbol that is tied to both nature and society and shows that kindness is a vehicle for us to survive.” – Jeff Koons

The legendary New York-based pop artist Jeff Koons’ paintings and sculptures thematically address advertising, taste, pleasure, media and celebrity. His work inspired prints in our Summer 2006 collection and Stella previously collaborated with him on a platinum rabbit necklace pendant and charm bracelet.

L is for Linda

Artwork by Linda McCartney

 

About Look L

Stella is forever inspired by creative, feminist and animal activist values of her mother, Linda. Their relationship is materially captured in the Elle all-in-one, featuring a full sleeve, wide leg and slim body to create a dramatic silhouette. Printed with our bold ‘Linda’ flower motif, it is made with 100% traceable, forest-friendly viscose; when a tree is cut down, another is planted.

 

The Art

Untitled self-portrait, 1975

Photographer: Linda McCartney

© Paul McCartney

 

“My mother Linda photographed herself by the standing stone outside our kitchen farm window at our home in Scotland. That home, and that period of Mum in that image – those memories are probably my biggest inspirations.” – Stella

Linda McCartney was a prolific photographer, musician, artist and environmental and animal rights activist. However, she always insisted that her greatest achievements were her children: Heather, Mary, Stella and James.

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M is for Mindful

Artwork by Mert and Marcus

 

About Look M

Our A to Z originated during lockdown, a moment of pause that allowed us to reflect and return to the world more mindful. This is expressed through our Mara dress, made from repurposed forest-friendly viscose sourced from our Spring 2020 collection cut into strips and laid into a sheer tulle to create movement.

 

The Art

Untitled, 2020

© Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

 

“I have known Mert and Marcus since I was at Central Saint Martins. In fact, they just told me that their first date was my master’s degree show! I am mindful of the people I keep in my life, and there is a reason why we are still dear friends.” – Stella

Photographic duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott met in London in 1994 and have become one of the fashion industry’s best-recognised creative forces. They collaborated with Stella on our Winter 2011, Winter 2012, Winter 2013 and Winter 2014 collection campaigns, and shot our Summer 2021 show as well this McCartney A to Z Manifesto: Spring 2021 Collection.

N is for Nature

Artwork by Lila Azeu

 

About Look N

 Nature is a forever inspiration of Stella’s. Our Nature patchwork shirt dress’ vintage animal rights activist prints were upcycled from deadstock tees. They are made from 100% organic cotton, grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides or synthetic fertilisers.

 

The Art

Playground love, 2020

Models: Rym Bousmid, Andrea Ferrari, Lola Cabaret-Loux

© Lila Azeu

 

“I immediately thought about the body positivity movement. All people, all women, regardless of societal pressure, are beautiful to me – and need to be aware of it.” – Lila Azeu

Lila Azeu is a photographer, educator and artist. In 2020, she joined École Kourtrajmé in the “Art and Image” course led by anonymous artist JR.

O is for Organic

Artwork by Olafur Eliasson

 

About Look O

Our Faces in Places grid t-shirt embodies our light-hearted, natural humour. A cheeky celebration of Mother Earth, these pieces are made from organic cotton – grown without chemical inputs, improving soil health and promoting higher social standards for farmers.

 

The Art

Imaginary morning eclipse, 2020

Coloured glass (pink fade, yellow, blue), silver, driftwood

© Olafur Eliasson

 

“‘O’ makes you think of the world, right? It’s not the ‘O’ for OK, it is maybe the ‘O’ from ‘Ohh’. It’s probably also an O that is closer to organic. So, I cut out a hole. I’ve taken away something. Behind, there’s a kind of a pink mirror. Defining something by the nothing. It’s participating by removing and making space.” – Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson is a contemporary visual artist whose work combines natural elements with makeshift technical devices to transform public spaces into immersive environments. He recently collaborated with Stella during lockdown, offering our community the rare opportunity to virtually tour his studio.

P is for Progressive

Artwork by Students from JR’s Kourtrajmé art school

 

About Look P

A progressive perspective is signature to Stella, affecting positive social change and using fashion to evolve conversations. Our Phoenix dress embodies this attitude, made from Q-NOVA® recycled nylon lace and repurposed lace trims sourced from our Summer 2018 collection.

 

The Art

Untitled, 2020

© Students from JR’s Kourtrajmé art school

 

“The progressive energy of what JR is doing with his free École Kourtrajmé inspired me to open my A to Z project to his students. Whatever platform I’m lucky to have, I want to use it to help give a voice to the next generation. In this moment of madness, we need to come together and support each other.” – Stella

JR is the pseudonym of an anonymous French photographer and street artist. He founded the “Art and Image” course at École Kourtrajmé in Paris, which provides art education for free to the next generation of promising young creatives from around the globe.

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Q is for Question

A Facility Artwork by Nick Cave and Bob Faust

 

About Look Q

We have always questioned the fashion industry however, during lockdown, we realised it was time to question our own approach. Our Elisabeth jacket and Jayda trousers form a timeless Stella suit, emboldening us with the confident femininity necessary for change.

 

The Art

Question, 2020

Digital amalgamation of a synthetic hair Soundsuit

© A Facility Artwork by Nick Cave and Bob Faust

 

“To question something is the first step to changing it – changing it for the particularness of the situation or person, for the moment, for the better.” – Nick Cave

Nick Cave is a Chicago-based artist and educator whose visual and performance practice has explored themes of race and police brutality. His business and life partner, Bob Faust, is a typographer and designer.

R is for Repurpose

Artwork by Taryn Simon

 

About Look R

We have the confidence to create rare, limited-edition pieces using old stock to set a new circular standard. Our Patchwork Shades jacket and trousers are collector’s items, crafted from upcycled organic cotton denim from our Summer 2017 and Summer 2019 collections. The repurposed fabrics were cut and patchworked to make one-off pieces – minimising our waste and use of raw materials.

 

The Art

Untitled, 2020

© Taryn Simon

 

Taryn Simon is an American multidisciplinary artist with a practice that includes photography, sculpture, text, film and performance. Based in New York City, she directs attention to familiar systems of organisation —bloodlines, circulating picture collections, mourning rituals, ceremonial flower arrangements— making visible the contours of power and authority hidden within them. No stranger to seeing potential in waste, Simon collaborated with Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation to create a work composed of vitrified nuclear waste that will be safe for exhibition in the year 3015.

S is for Sustainability

Artwork by Hajime Sorayama

 

About Look S

In 2018, Stella collaborated with adidas on the first-ever vegan Stan Smiths – another step towards a sustainable, leather-free fashion industry. Animal agriculture is a driver of climate change and deforestation, and accounts for approximately 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. By creating an animal-free alternative that is indistinguishable to cowhide, we are protecting our fellow creatures, humans and Mother Earth.

 

The Art

Untitled_S, 2020

© Hajime Sorayama

 

“If you turn S round 90 degrees, it becomes a mobius loop. To me, the mobius loop is the synonym of eternity and immortality.” – Hajime Sorayama

Japanese illustrator and designer Hajime Sorayama is known for his hyper-detailed, erotic portrayals of feminine robots – self-describing his style as “superrealism.” His work looks far into the future and explores the intimate relationships we can have with objects.

T is for Timeless

Artwork by William Eggleston

 

About Look T

Designing garments that can be cherished and handed down is true sustainability. Our timeless polka dot Arielle dress is originally from our Winter 2011 collection, updated with contemporary materials – 100% traceable, forest-friendly viscose and acetate, both of which are cellulose-based fibres that originate from trees. We have partnered with suppliers who never source from ancient, old-growth or endangered forests, preserving them for future generations.

 

The Art

UNTITLED, 1972

© Eggleston Artistic Trust, courtesy of David Zwirner

 

“Stella and I are close friends and I enjoy her company immensely.” – William Eggleston

One of the most influential photographers of the latter 20th Century, William Eggleston disrupted the black-and-white photography world of the 1960s with his colour-full shots of the American South. He is also a dear friend of Stella’s, having been photographed in our studio by her sister Mary McCartney in 2016 and was interviewed for our #Stellavision content series in 2020.

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U is for Utility

Artwork by Emilie Pria and Paulo Accioly

 

About Look U

Our pieces have a functional style. A Stella signature, our Alessia all-in-one expresses this utilitarian perspective and brings it into sharper focus with innovated materials – crafted from a smooth, modern Pathos fabric made especially for us in Italy, blending organic cotton, nylon and linen.

 

The Art

Bring me back, 2020

© Emilie Pria and Paulo Accioly

 

“I started experimenting with my body while Paulo was shooting, and we tried different Us before I started arching my back to the maximum which was the position that satisfied us the most.” – Emilie Pria

Emilie Pria and Paulo Accioly are two young artists from JR’s École Kourtrajmé art school in Paris. Emilie is a multidisciplinary visual artist, comedian and musician living in Paris. Paulo is a Brazilian engineer and photographer who moved from his hometown Maceió to grow as an artist in Paris.

V is for Vegan

Artwork by Will Sweeney

 

About Look V

Having never used leather, feathers, fur or skins since day one, all of our shoes and bags are vegan – meaning they do not use any animal products and are cruelty-free. Soon, we will be revealing the next generation of sustainable, plant-based, animal-free leather alternatives. Infusing sustainability with desirability, our Emilie over-the-knee boot’s midsole wood is FSC-certified beech and its soles are consciously crafted from TR, a recyclable thermoplastic compound.

 

The Art

Sporeburst, 2020

© Will Sweeney

 

“I admire Stella’s ethical philosophy and that her brand has led the fashion industry’s conscience since it launched.” – Will Sweeney

Will Sweeney is a London-based illustrator and designer specialising in comics, clothing graphics and animation. Connected to Stella both personally and professionally, he has previously created prints for our Pre-Fall 2015 collection and Shared capsule in 2020.

W is for Womanhood

Artwork by Sam Taylor-Johnson

 

About Look W

Stella McCartney is a brand founded and led by women, with female empowerment central to our values and aesthetic vision. Our Ophelia dress personifies the Stella woman; elevated yet effortless, and inspired by nature.

 

The Art

W girls, 2020

© Sam Taylor-Johnson

 

“I’m raising four girls to be strong. The feet belong to them – to put their best feet forward, to rise to the challenges they may face.” – Sam Taylor-Johnson

Sam Taylor-Johnson is a London-born filmmaker and photographer, known for her lush, highly charged imagery. A true Stella woman, her lens bridges the physical and psychological – capturing subjects ranging from expanses of untouched natural landscapes to individual people.

X is for Kiss

Artwork by Ed Ruscha

 

About Look X

Feminine and cheeky, this ear cuff is like a kiss – Stella’s signature sign off. Our Spring 2021 jewellery is a series of dichotomies; classic styles and contemporary designs, effortless yet elevated, subtle and statement-making.

 

 The Art

The Letter X, 2020

Dry pigment and acrylic on paper

© Ed Ruscha, photo by Paul Ruscha

 

“There is something inherently scary about the letter ‘X’. However, the letter ‘X’ belongs to the world of pleasure and affection to mean a smack on the lips; a kiss and all that it implies.” – Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha is globally recognised for his iconic tongue-in-cheek pop art. His work is inspired by Los Angeles, bringing to life its colloquialisms, consumerism and cultural nuances. Ruscha has previously collaborated with Stella on our Winter 2016 campaign, laying his signature graphic text over our seasonal imagery.

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Y is for Youth

Artwork by Jermaine Francis

About Look Y

Activism, genderlessness, connectivity – we embrace and are inspired by the next generation’s vocal, fluid approach, moving beyond labels to come together. Our unisex Marble on White shirt and trousers and Marble t-shirt are all made from 100% certified organic cotton, personifying a uniform for tomorrow’s eco leaders.

 

The Art

A LOVE SUPREME, 2020

© Jermaine Francis

 

“Youth means hope to me. In a current time of intolerance and polarisation, I wanted to present a representation of some form of hope for the future, and a connection.” – Jermaine Francis

Jermaine Francis is a London-based photographer who works extensively between photographic projects, fashion and art. Between April and September, Jermaine walked the streets of London, “Trying to visually contextualise what we were going through” during lockdown.

Z is for Zero waste

Artwork by Joana Vasconcelos

 

About Look Z

We aspire to eliminate the concept of waste, circularly revisiting old favourites to make something new and unexpected. Each Gabriela one-off dress is the most rare and beautiful, with the least waste – created from strips of patterned fabrics from 9 Stella ready-to-wear collections spanning Spring 2015, Summer 2015, Autumn 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2018, Winter 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2020 and Summer 2020. Even the dress pattern is cut with a zero-waste fabric.

 

The Art

Zen, 2020

Fabrics, LED, sequin applications

95 x 64 x 28 cm

Collection of the artist

Work produced in collaboration with Stella McCartney

© Atelier Joana Vasconcelos

 

“Zero waste means finding the balance with the planet, reaching stability between what we consume and what we return to the planet.” – Joana Vasconcelos

Joana Vasconcelos is a visual artist known for creating vibrant, monumental sculptures. Often, she uses objects associated with domestic work – creating a commentary and narrative around the female identify from a feminist perspective that questions tradition and women’s role(s) in society.

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