Stella McCartney launches exclusive range in Brazil with high street brand C&A

Sao Paulo (AFP) - Stella McCartney on Wednesday launched an exclusive range for Brazilian consumers at Sao Paulo Fashion Week, saying she was targeting a "cool and sexy" market.

"For me, Brazilian women are cool and sexy I have to say, and they are definitely aware when it comes to fashion," the 43-year-old designer said.

"I think they're very much at the forefront of fashion," said McCartney, daughter of Beatles legend Paul, as she launched the apparel for C&A.

She added she was driven by a desire to take a sustainable and responsible approach to her work - values she said came from her parents.

"I grew up in the countryside, on an organic farm, so I was very aware of the seasons of nature.

"So for me, when I went into fashion, I wanted to be responsible, and have a different take on luxury fashion, where I would not work with fur or leather," said McCartney, adding she wanted her collection to be affordable options for the buying public at large.

"I try to approach what I do in fashion in a sustainable and a responsible way, so not only in the materials that I use, but the way that I source and manufacture my product," she said of a range priced between US$35 and US$150 and made from fabrics including cotton, viscose, lame and lace.

Working on collaborations such as her current one with the C&A chain meant "pausing fast-fashion, just slowing it down for a moment, so that the consumer who maybe can't afford our clothes can come and have a different experience with C&A." McCartney said she saw her range as "quite timeless, so it's fast-fashion - but it's meeting luxury in a way that you will have these garments, I hope, in the way they're designed, in the way which we've sourced the highest (quality) materials we could with C&A.

"I think what we have done here is a good example of what we can do with fast fashion. I think they will last you longer than normal fast-fashion," said McCartney, adding she was "emotionally attached to everything I create." She told reporters fashion was "not just about luxury", hence her collaboration with a high street store.

"I also worked with a lot of sustainable and environmentally friendly fabrics in this collaboration, so for me, it's about doing fast-fashion in a way that just slows it down a little bit," McCartney explained.

"C&A is an incredible brand. It's been really exciting as we've worked together once before.

Much, but not all, of the collection is Brazil-made, with some items produced in Asia - primarily China and India - C&A vice president Paulo Correa said.

Correa noted McCartney had launched an exclusive Brazil range in 2011 "and it was very successful."

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