Rex

Stella McCartney already had Chloe tucked under her pleather belt before launching her own label under Gucci in 2001. Ambitious and outspoken, she's been criticised both for nepotism - she persuaded family friends Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell to model in her graduate fashion show in 1995 - and her prickly defence of animal rights. In the last few years, however, the critics have quietened down as the clothes have begun to speak for themselves, bolstered by a loyal following of A-listers who swear by her laid-back chic and sexy feminine tailoring. 

And now she's been named in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People, the only representative from the fashion industry to make it onto the list. Accompanying her listing were a few words from Gwyneth Paltrow on her designer buddy: "Everything about Stella McCartney is authentic. Her red hair is her own. She has real guts. She means what she says. Sometimes it's even a bit scary - she somehow works tirelessly to create the chic looks that have made her a fashion icon and yet still manages to be home with her three beautiful children at the same time."

Nepotist or not, there's little doubt over Ms McCartney's knack for designing clothes that women love. This month sees the launch of her range designed exclusively for Net-A-Porter. "I design in the hope that I'll make a woman feel better about herself," she says, and flags up her two favourites from the collection: the espadrilles and the embroidered jacket - "great with jeans and a wife beater". We’re also fans of her whimsical cloud-print dress. Head online and snap them up before they’re gone. 

Continued below...

By Lucy Pavia