Big Ups For Vegans: Stella McCartney Wins Designer Of The Year!

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.
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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)
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