What happened when Fred Butler met Stella McCartney?

01 August 2012 by

Adidas, official wardrobe department of the Team GB and Lords of the Olympics have installed a few extra staff in their special Olympic Lounge, discreetly located somewhere upstairs in Westfield, gateway to The Games. We’re not just talking about PR people, film crews or nice people buttering scones and serving them up with raspberry jam, although you can find all the above in the vicinity. Oh no - adidas, whose creative director for the games is a certain Stella McCartney, has appointed a number of artistic fashion people to man the ‘customisation station', given them a selection of bright red trainers, some glue, needles and threads and a whole pile of sparkly bits and pieces and then left them alone to work their magic. 

So, as the title of the article points out, one of those designers is none other than the gorgeous and multi-talented Fred Butler. She’s been customizing away for a few days, resulting in some easily identifiable pairs of red Adidas kicks on the wall of fame in the Lounge. Tuesday’s job though, were a dainty pair of sprint shoes, destined for Stella herself – as a memento of the Olympic Games and all her work for Adidas – and crafted by Fred. Rather than stick items directly onto the shoes, Fred was working on an Olympic version of one her signature pieces – a dodecahedron necklace.


Using materials from the trainers themselves and from scraps of Adidas team GB kits, all in a palette of red, pink and white, with silver beads, Fred and her assistants were all busily sewing away to complete the necklace in the one day deadline!

We snapped away at the proceedings while Fred filled us in on what she’s been up so far this summer and this is what the accessories designer and prop stylist told us all about the project . . .

On meeting Stella McCartney to get her brief for the customizing: ‘When I meet people like that I basically have to leave my own body and do it from a sort of looking down from outside myself point of view. Otherwise it’s just far too nerve-wracking and a bit like being back at school.’ 

On Stella herself: ‘Of course, she’s really sweet, nice and relaxed when you do meet her, and actually quite normal’


At this point the Adidas PR points out that Stella herself is a big fan of Fred’s work and that is why she was chosen for the project, so we asked Fred if she would like to collaborate with Stella again on any of Stella’s other product ranges, like the Stella Kids for example; ‘Wow! Yes please! That would be amazing if I could get involved in that! In fact, it really makes sense that I should start doing a spot of children’s wear because children are the people who are most drawn to my work.’ 

On her summer so far; ‘it’s been as busy and as full of work as usual. There was a full-on weekend of headdress making at Port Eliot festival. Then obviously, there’s my very cool girl’s football team, which takes up a lot of my time these days. Now I’m working on the Olympics and when I finish this it’s time to work on my new collection for London Fashion Week in September! Flat out doesn’t describe it.’ 

Oh well, at least you’ll have some good sportswear to put on for all that whizzing around London, Miss Butler.


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