'Oh, he's a lying, cheating… what': Stella McCartney on the job offer from Tom Ford (that he denies) and her first flop

Friends Stella McCartney And Tom Ford are in disagreement

Friends Stella McCartney And Tom Ford are in disagreement

Since she took the reigns from Karl Lagerfeld at Chloe in 1997, Stella McCartney has often been the subject of fashion world gossip and occasionally still finds herself on the defense.

In a recent interview, the beloved and respected Brit designer insisted that despite denying it, Tom Ford did in fact present her with the opportunity to take over from him at Gucci – an offer which she declined.

The daughter of legendary Beatle, Paul McCartney, also opened up about the supposed conflict with former design partner Phoebe Philo and the reasons she believes her first solo show was a flop.

Ms McCartney, 40, was interviewed for
the New York Times Magazine in an extensive piece that laid to rest the
controversy surrounding her departure from Chloe and the career choices
she has made along the way.

to the designer, Mr Ford, a friend for 15 years, had tried to persuade
her to take the position at Gucci while he concentrated his efforts on
Yves Saint Laurent but she had refused on account of her refusal to work
with leather and fur.

She recalled: 'He said: “Just come to my studio and look at everything. Maybe you’ll do it”. As if all those exotic skins and corduroy hamster fur were going to turn me on and make me change my entire ethic.'

But Mr Ford told the New York supplement: 'It was never a conversation about taking over at Gucci. I think she might have interpreted that at a certain point…I just never corrected her.'

Amused by the ensuing awkwardness, Ms McCartney exclaimed: 'Oh, he’s a lying, cheating . . . what That’s the weirdest thing. Why would he take me into an office and show me every dead animal Oops!

'How are you going to handle that “Stella says she got offered Gucci but she didn’t . . . LOSER!”'

The womenswear maven also talked
about her old Central Saint Martins pal, Phoebe Philo, who she took with
her to Chloe and who remained there when she left.

Stella McCartney Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2012

Stella McCartney Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2012

Everyday perfection: Stella McCartney is hailed as an exceptional womenswear designer despite often finding herself at the centre of fashion gossip

'I mean, we were living in each other’s pockets,' she explained. 'We were stuck like glue.'

Discussing the alleged tension surrounding their professional break-up she added: 'We didn’t have that fashion-chick falling out; we just moved on.'

But she did admit that the rumours were most likely exacerbated by the disaster that was her first solo show. In what she now recognises was 'a massive misstep,' she had hired Saint Martins students for her design team rather than professionals.

Yikes! Kate Hudson in a much criticised McCartney creation at the Oscars, 2001

Yikes! Kate Hudson in a much criticised McCartney creation at the Oscars, 2001

'But the biggest mistake was I was trying to be something that I wasn’t,' she acknowledged.

Nowadays, Stella McCartney is a happily married career mother who manages to find a balance between the demands of a highly pressured profession and the needs of her four children.

She's come a long way since the Oscar ceremony to which friend Kate Hudson wore one of her red carpet creations to a fanfare of criticism.

Ms Hudson recalled laughing with her afterward, because 'I was on every worst-dressed list possible.'

Aside from her versatility as a designer and resounding successes over the last few years, friends and colleagues are quick to gush about her personality.

Tom Ford himself told the New York Times: Stella is not competitive in the girl arena. She is a girlfriend.'

Similarly, close friend, Gwyneth Paltrow, enthused: 'She was in full fun mode when I met her, and I just fell in love with her.

'She is shockingly honest. I always say there's this kind of hidden ghetto side to Stella. She's tough. She doesn't back down from someone who might have less to lose than her.'

Ms McCartney has expanded beyond the realms of her own ready-to-wear collections and in 2010, after a successful childrenswear line for Gap, launched Stella McCartney Kids.

At this summer’s Olympics in London, British athletes will wear Adidas outfits designed by her company.