LONDON – Stella McCartney is teaming with The Chopra Foundation to highlight the healing powers of horses.
The broad-based project will see McCartney raise money for the foundation and for equine therapy centers with sales of a limited-edition Falabella bag.
McCartney is also promoting a bespoke, guided meditation on the Chopra app and the publication of what she describes as “the world’s most extensive, equine-assisted therapy directory” that’s set to launch on a new website called Healingpowerofhorses.com.
The initiative follows McCartney’s fall 2023 fashion show which unfurled at France’s oldest riding school, Manège École Militaire. During that show, models walked a dirt runway as seven wild horses, led by the equine expert and rescuer Jean-Francois Pignon, cantered, frolicked and rolled on the ground.
According to McCartney, Healingpowerofhorses.com will be an “educational and storytelling platform” that taps into the expertise of therapeutic experts and “positive change makers” from around the world.
The project, McCartney said, evolved in the wake of the pandemic. She quoted statistics saying the number of young people living with depression doubled between 2011 and 2021, with 52.5 percent of the 17-23 year-olds reporting their mental health had declined since the onset of COVID-19.
The designer said that ever since she was a child, she has turned to horses as a source of healing. She added that equine therapy can include the caring for, riding, training, observing, and interacting with horses to support a variety of mental-health conditions from alcoholism and addiction to depression and eating disorders.
“We all need a helping hand sometimes, and I want to make people more aware of the benefits of equine therapy and connect them to it. I knew Deepak and his incredible foundation were the perfect partners to help carry that message to the world,” McCartney said.
Poonacha Machaiah, CEO of The Chopra Foundation, said the project “epitomizes the intersection of fashion and mental wellbeing, painting a picture of integrative healing for the modern world.”
The upcycled, vegan Falabella handbags come with a ribbon printed with the phrase, “The ride is long but leads you home,” by the American author and poet Cleo Wade.
According to the company, the 96 Healing Power of Horses totes were made from deadstock bags.
The accessory retails for 925 pounds, and will be sold on the Stella McCartney website and through select standalone stores in Europe and the U.S.
A portion of the proceeds will go to the Chopra Foundation, to mental health initiatives, and to equine therapy centers.