Vegan fashion brand Stella McCartney has been ranked number one in empathy, generosity, and kindness on the New York-based Luxury Institute’s annual “Emotionally Intelligent Brand Index.”
McCartney, daughter of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and the late musician and entrepreneur Linda McCartney, edged out leading luxury brands including Chanel and Louis Vuitton in earning the top spot in those categories. The Luxury Institute’s ranking looks at how a brand relates to its customers, employees, and society at large, including its impact on the environment.
“Today affluent consumers across all generations, but especially Millennials, think of brands as organic, living entities comprised of the purpose, values and behaviors of the people who lead them and who represent them at the front lines, across any channel,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute.
“A brand, today, is known well beyond its products. Just as with individuals, if a brand today cannot deliver more than expertise and deeply lacks emotional intelligence, or simply has an emotional intelligence deficit that is clear to clients, it is at a distinct disadvantage in the probability of long-term success or even survival.”
Pedraza also called out the luxury industry for its often unwillingness to change or adapt its policies. “Unfortunately, some brand leaders, especially in luxury, would rather delude themselves than embrace, or crave, candid customer feedback and take massive positive action.”
Stella McCartney and the New Fashion Ethos
But a growing number of luxury brands are making pivotal shifts in their approach to the environment and ethics. Earlier this year Versace announced it was removing fur from its designs. Fendi too just removed them from its most recent show, focusing instead on faux furs more aligned with Millennial values. Even airlines like Virgin Atlantic are taking steps toward more sustainable and responsible commitments. Richard Branson’s airline recently announced it was removing beef and palm oil from flight menus because of their connection to deforestation and climate change. Earlier this year luxury car brand Tesla announced it’s moving toward replacing leather from its car interiors.
The London-based Stella McCartney brand is built on an ethos that resonates with the core Millennial consumer; the line doesn’t use any animal-based textiles including leather, fur, skins, and feathers. McCartney’s forward-thinking designs and textiles also earned her the 4th spot for trustworthiness, the 17th spot for quality and 6th for customer service.
Most recently, McCartney made headlines when the now Dutchess of Sussex Meghan Markle wore a McCartney design to her royal wedding reception. The vegan designer also attended the Met Gala in New York earlier this year alongside outspoken vegan celebrity Miley Cyrus and Paris Jackson, daughter of the late pop singer Michael Jackson. All three women wore McCartney designs and Cyrus told the red carpet reporters that not killing animals for fashion was “[expletive] hot.”
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