The offspring of music legends, designers Stella McCartney and Jade Jagger straddle two of the most glamorous worlds.
This story first appeared in the August 29, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Don’t call them the rock ’n’ roll kids.
Stella McCartney, daughter of Sir Paul, and Jade Jagger, daughter of soon-to-be Sir Mick, are trying their hardest to shed the celebrity brat rap and make names for themselves in fashion. Of course, growing up in a family where mom and dad were busting molds, setting trends and partying with the pop icons du jour has its perks: golden — or rather platinum — connections, financial security and a magical surname.
Still, fashioning a separate identity isn’t easy.
“I’m so sick of this ‘my parents’ thing,” McCartney, who burst onto the fashion scene in 1997 when Chloé tapped her to become its chief designer, told W, WWD’s sister publication, in 1999. Last year, she formed a 50-50 joint venture with Gucci Group to reestablish her own label. “It’s not my fault. I was just the sperm that went to the egg. I don’t preach about it, and I don’t brag about it. Maybe one day people will realize that, yeah, I’m a designer, and my dad’s famous.”
Jagger, whose mother is fashion icon Bianca Jagger, has always tried to keep her career and her personal life as separate as possible.
“She rarely even talks about her father,” said a friend. “It’s important for her to keep those two worlds apart.” Jagger, who set up a jewelry business, Jade Inc., in 1998, is the new creative director of the British luxury brand Garrard. Her first Garrard collection makes its debut in September.
The media — and even colleagues — speculate about where they’d be without those famous monikers. And even as they battle for their independence, neither McCartney nor Jagger has forgotten their roots. McCartney’s signature style — tight, low-slung jeans, skimpy printed Ts and tanks and a little tailored jacket — is pure rock chick. And, of course, her shows have all the musical trimmings. And ever since her days at Chloé, her front rows have been packed with the pop-and-celeb set including, of course, Papa McCartney, Liv Tyler, Jerry Seinfeld, Chrissie Hynde, George Martin, Richard Branson and Sean Lennon.
Jagger, too, flies the rock ’n’ roll flag. Back in January, she was spotted wearing the Stones’ tongue-and-lips charm around her neck — which she designed herself — and she has said she’s proud of her parents’ different styles.
“Growing up around parents with such definite ideas about style has obviously had a huge influence on my own,” she told W in 1998. “My mother is very into beautifully tailored, elegant clothes, whereas I’m a bit more offbeat. Luckily, I’ve inherited her good eye for well-cut clothes. As for my dad, I love his stage clothes; I think they’re great.”
But having celebrity parents isn’t all about aesthetics. They can also bestow the sort of wisdom on their children that other parents who are bankers, butchers or elementary school teachers would not necessarily be able to offer.
Just ask McCartney, who once said: “When I said I wanted to do [fashion], my parents were like, ‘Are you sure this is what you want to do? Fashion is the bitchiest industry in the world.’ And I was like, ‘Well, it can’t be any more bitchy than the music business.’ I’m still sticking with that philosophy, but the more time I spend in this industry, the more I’m in danger of falling into their camp.