Taking the chance to bang the drum for British creativity during London 2012 Olympics, the Business is Great Summit – the business legacy conference that the Duchess of Cambridge was out to celebrate last night – had another stacked day of speakers today including the Team GB kit designer Stella McCartney, Rupert Grint of Harry Potter fame and the team behind Bond – who premiered the first ever trailer for the new 007 film.
Sitting in one of Lancaster House’s ornate rooms GraziaDaily caught up with handbag maestro and business ambassador Anya Hindmarch about having the world on our doorstep. “Its just like when you have guests over to your home – you get out the best silver and plump up the cushions. This summit is such a great initiative for us to showcase the very best of British creativity. For such a small country we definitely punch above our weight but we are irreverent and self-deprecating enough not to come off as smug or arrogant. I’ve never wanted to live anywhere else and like so many of us I’ve been buzzing with pride since the Opening Ceremony.”
Anya Hindmarch, Stella McCartney
And Anya isn’t the only Brit to be enamoured with the creativity of her capital city. In a short film shown before Stella’s segment, Anna Wintour tells us, “London’s fashion has made enormous strides…-As a city London is now valid and exciting for international press and buyers. All eyes are on London this season making everyone raise the bar even higher.”
Next up was Stella McCartney who waxed lyrical on topics ranging from the Olympics, feminism and work/life balance:
On Designing the Team GB Kit:
“This has been an incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity. Ive been working on this kit for nearly three years - basically the longest fashion show I’ve ever worked on. One of the most special moments was seeing Becky [Adlington] on the podium for the first time. Normally women just get a version of the men’s podium outfits but the women’s suit was the first thing I designed.”
Why Britain is Such A Great Fashion Nation:
“We are like no other country - it’s a nation of opposites and irreverent humour – we are comfortable with throwing out the rule book. But a little bit punk rock ‘n’ roll at the same time. We embrace eccentricity and don’t judge - and that means we attract talent.
On the Business of Fashion:
“I consider myself a Creative Businesswoman. We love the reward of selling product and we get nearly as excited about sales figures [as we do about fashion shows]. Delivery windows, margins, price-points – are not dirty words at Stella McCartney. Its such a great reward to see my designs ont the street – I can spot a Stella bag a mile off!”
“I’m a Londoner, I can’t help it! London has the best of every city I've ever beent to. You can catch all of the world in London.”
“I always thought it was a insulting that men got all this technical, sport-led gear while women had to wear baby pink and My Little Pony blue. Why sacrifice your style for sport?”
On her Childrenswear line:
“My kids are always kitted out in Stella. One of them said to me last week ‘Mummy I'm wearing all of your clothes today!’”
“I’m so blessed that I can both work and have such an amazing family life and that I've had the choice to do both. I know I couldn’t do it without a team to help both at work and at home. I actually think that men find it just as difficult to go to work every day and leave their family."
"At our office we have a joke – if you sit on a chair in the studio you’ll get pregnant. At one time 8/30 members of staff were pregnant but you know its part of life, we get on with it. It's all about achieving balance – otherwise your work will suffer.”