Stella McCartney’s Sustainable Luxury

The End of The Kering/Stella McCartney Partnership and New Beginnings on Old Bond Street

Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas , Rosemary Varley

Business Case
Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases
DOI: 10.5040/9781350996007.0007
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In March 2018, after months of press speculation, it was announced that Stella McCartney would be leaving the luxury conglomerate company Kering. The case of the eponymous fashion label Stella McCartney is interesting for a number of reasons: the issues that Stella McCartney OBE faced gaining credibility in the fashion industry as the daughter of world-famous parents, including how her upbringing influenced her design aesthetic and approach to business; the differentiation of a luxury designer label as a self-identified “vegetarian brand”; and her success as a collaborator with other organizations, including fashion brands adidas and H&M and sustainability champions such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

This case study introduces the historical background to Stella McCartney as a designer and a brand, traces the growth of the company through product developments and collaborative ventures, and highlights Stella McCartney as a designer who has consistently championed sustainability and become increasingly vocal about the fashion industry’s environmental impact.

The case provides information on internal operations, introduces Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) accounting and environmentally friendly retail design, and includes a discussion of Stella McCartney’s A/W 2017 and A/W 2018 advertising campaigns as reflections on brand values. The case study allows students to think carefully about the next steps in the brand’s strategy. To what extent should the brand continue to differentiate based on sustainability? How should the brand grow in the future; how quickly and in which directions? What role could collaboration play in the future? What are the implications of decoupling from Kering and does this place the brand at risk?

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