A collaboration between Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney seems like a no-brainer. The only question is, what took them so long?
“We complement each other,” Paltrow said. “It was the right time. We’re very close friends. We were bringing two worlds together and it was important not to force them.”
This story first appeared in the September 5, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The BFFs created a capsule collection for Goop, Paltrow’s Web site devoted to a healthy lifestyle, beautiful things to covet and buy and delicious food. The collection consists of such exclusive styles as a classic black blazer, charcoal gray knit jumpsuit, black jean and black wool trouser. McCartney’s newly introduced Beckett handbag in black, gray and white will also be available. Prices start at $795.
“It makes perfect sense. Stella and I keep our [collaborations] to a minimum,” Paltrow said, explaining that both are extremely selective about the projects they choose.
“For me, it’s trying to find the ones that fit” with my company, said McCartney, who has created capsule lines for Gap Kids and H&M, and designs the ongoing Adidas by Stella McCartney collection.
The women teased fans last week with a post on Goop.com’s Facebook page that revealed the name of the project, Stella McCartney x Goop, and the Sept. 12 launch date, but nothing else.
Stella McCartney x Goop is part of the Goop Collection, the e-commerce component of the Web site, launched in 2012. It offers an ever-changing selection of exclusive products to Goop readers. Past Goop Collection associations include Cynthia Rowley, Rag & Bone, Warby Parker and Alexandra von Furstenberg. Paltrow’s mostly female audience spans a range of ages and backgrounds, from professionals to mothers to fashionistas “who are very interested in all the things we provide,” she said. “Selling is growing by leaps and bounds. We’re learning about what people want and at what price point.
“When one of your best friends is a very successful artist and you love and admire her work, you want to support it at all [costs],” Paltrow added. “I have this start-up, Goop, and I have a strong idea of what I want it to be. I went to Stella and asked if she would collaborate with me. She never had done a collaboration like this before until I strong-armed her. She’s the most insanely amazing designer.”
“I’m cringing,” McCartney said, reacting to the praise. “Gwyneth has such a strong sense of style. One automatically recognizes what she likes to wear — very timeless and effortless pieces.”
McCartney considers Paltrow to be a muse: “I have quite a lot of admiration for her at so many levels and that’s a big part of how I design. Her spirit and inner beauty as well as outer beauty are a big inspiration for me. I draw from that every day from all my friends.”
“She has all these amazing women,” Paltrow said, referring to Cameron Diaz, Naomi Watts, Liv Tyler, Kate Hudson, Kate Moss and Rihanna, who McCartney dresses. “We all represent different aspects of a woman. You have something from each of us.”
The one thing Paltrow doesn’t consider herself is a designer — she describes her role as a curator.
“I think of myself as a woman who is a lover of beautiful things,” Paltrow told WWD. “I’m very specific about my taste. The role I want in a partnership is curating a collection as opposed to taking a designer point of view. I can tweak a blazer and make it the perfect blazer. It’s being able to fulfill what my ideal things ought to be.”
Stella McCartney x Goop isn’t trendy fast fashion; rather, the collection is about investment pieces. “We sat down and talked about it a lot and it was very considered,” McCartney said. “The outcome is designs that are very timeless. In order to create pieces that are effortless, it’s very considered. Gwyneth was a huge part of that. This is a big reflection of her life.
“The pieces are very subtle,” McCartney continued. “If you glance briefly at the jeans, they look like timeless black jeans with a zip detail and a great shape.” Upon closer examination, the jeans are actually made from deep navy blue velvet fabric with denim on the back.
“I tend to go for more classic pieces,” Paltrow said. “I wanted to make things that you’d leave to your daughter. My audience loves an investment piece and nothing will last longer. We could have done some brand-new trend collection. For the first time, we wanted to work on something that was very easy to understand.”
“We are a luxury house, but we have really affordable pieces,” McCartney said of her own company. “This is another way to let people understand that we have opening price points. We also understand that there’s a cut-off point for price. It’s always difficult to bring the highest quality garment made in Italy” in at a lower price. “It’s never easy, but if you want something badly enough, you can do it.”
Besides making money, the partnership is about “having fun and being accessible,” McCartney said. “These designs are not going to blow anyone away. They are staple pieces.”
Now, the line is about to launch and the women are still friends. “I would collaborate again,” Paltrow said.
“We’ll see how this goes and we’ll build on it,” said McCartney.