Who has the most famous and luscious lips in the fashion and design industry?
British designer Lulu Guinness is famous for her big, pouting lips. They appear on her umbrellas, shoes, socks, cabin luggage, clutch and handbags, purses and vanity cases, Queenies, Lucias, and backpacks. Customers around the world wear her iconic lips and heart shapes on their arms.
Lulu Guinness designs are regularly seen over the arms, cross the bod or over the shoulders on Kate Moss, Adwoa Aboah, Emma Watson, Poppy Delevingne, Paloma Faith, Helena Bonham Carter, and Dita Von Teese. Lulu’s Florist Basket (a favorite of Madonna) forms part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s permanent fashion collection in London. It has also been exhibited in Sotheby’s London and New York.
Influenced by maverick creatives, such as the Surrealist fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, Guinness is well-known for her whimsy and accessible luxury.
The man behind the famous British “bags of personality” lines is a creative designer, David Hodgson. “When I was living in New York in the early 2000s, Lulu had a shop opposite the Magnolia Bakery. I was running my own consultancy helping brands to launch or relaunch their accessories collections.”
Houghton designed for Roland Mouret, Smythson, Liberty London, Coach (masterminding the successful Amazona bag), Proenza Schouler, and Strathberry, a favorite brand of Megan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.
He served his apprenticeship under Stuart Vevers at Loewe. He has already designed best-selling bags, including the Bibi, like Lena Dunham, Josephine de la Baume, and Dree Hemmingway. His “Bibi” range includes bingo, dominos, and crossword designs, as well as a roomy boucle tote.
“My ultimate favorites are the dice bag and Tuxedo bag. It’s a dream and honor to work for Lulu Guinness and introduce the brand to a new generation. The heritage and DNA codes are so rich. You can’t really artificially create the love and affinity so many have for the brand. For many, a Lulu bag was their first designer bag. It was mine!
“It was postbox red with a lipstick holder on the front and a mini coin purse. I was prepared to sell any one of my brothers to get it! It made me feel grown-up, pulled-together, and like the sort of person who might one day work in fashion. It was so well-made and well-conceived. It was my first style signature!
Houghton wants to “distill” the founder’s personality into his designs. They meet every week to discuss new designs.
Sixty-year-old Lucinda Jane Guinness OBE is the daughter of Sir Miles Rivett-Carnac, 9th baronet of Derby. In 1986, she married the Honorable Valentine Guinness, 3rd Baron Moyne of Bury St Edmunds. They divorced in 2013 and have two daughters. Lulu Guinness was founded in 1989.
Adds Houghton: “I want to celebrate her as a person and her as a brand. Our target customer is someone who owns the perfect cashmere jumper and day-to-night shirt, Dr. Marten boots, a pair of Mary Janes, and a big pair of black sunglasses. She’s the cool aunt you wish you had or the sibling that you could go out dancing with. She’s the woman you want to see at a dinner party because you know she’ll have interesting stories, or you want to see because you know it’ll be something you wish you had.
She’s assured in what and who she is. She has this warmth and energy that’s infectious. You want to be around her, and she wants her bag to be an extension of her personality. She has something about her that other women admire.”
The latest collection, which includes shell clutch purses, is called “ Tomorrow’s treasures.” They are bags to be left on the table. Not the floor.
“The inspiration comes from objects that you might find on your grandmother’s dressing table. The glamorous allure of sparkling gemstones and pearl jewels sprinkled amongst her collection of keepsakes and trinkets”. Lizard embossed leather is new for this season, whilst velvets and satins have been quilted with opulent hand-embroidered beads, giant pearls, and diamantes.
Continues Houghton: “Ideally, a Lulu Guinness would be something you want to pass down to future generations. Lulu Guinness has always been about designing something fun that puts a smile on your face. We all know that what we’re wearing or carrying has the capacity to make us feel so much better and to put a spring in our step. It’s the right moment for Lulu to be given a new lease of life. And fan base.”