Today, the British Fashion Awards presented the Designer of the Year prize to Stella McCartney, one of the only strictly vegan high-fashion designers in the world — and certainly the most celebrated. By refusing to use leathers, furs, horse-based glues, feathers, certain silks (McCartney only uses cruelty free materials), and environmentally unfriendly PVCs, McCartney does things with faux materials even your most Cruella Deville-ish friend could get behind.
After suffering initial push back for her vegan approach (then-CEO James Seuss apparently told McCartney that she would never have a real accessories business because of it), her accessories line is now on the up-and-up, with her faux croc boots, chain-link polyurethane bags, Plexiglass sandals, and wooden wedges as distinctive and fashion-forward as anything else on the market. And even though the price points might cause nosebleeds (her famed Falabella bags go as high as $1,685 for a non-leather tote), her consumers don't seem to care — strong sales have even led Saks directors to believe that many of her customers don't even realize it's vegan.
And with rumors that PPR, the parent company of both Stella McCartney and London powerhouse Alexander McQueen, was looking to support more London-based talent (potentially starting with Christopher Kane), we say — good idea! The Brits have obviously got talent in heaps…if a culture of design can make folks pay the big bucks for faux leather and clamor shoes shaped like lobster claws, they must be putting something strong in the water. (WWD)