Designer Spotlight: Lulu Guinness


Fashion and art have always shared a common bond. With an almost symbiotic relationship, the connection between the two is stronger than ever before and the lines becoming increasingly blurred. This connection is fortified by ever-popular collaborations with artists lending their creativity and style onto an unsuspecting fashion world.

One fashion designer who is a clear advocate of art is Lulu Guinness OBE. There is a reason why her unique and glamorous Collectible bags are described as “tomorrow’s treasures”. Living by her motto Dare to be Different, Lulu’s strong personal style and original vision has played a huge part in her success. Her most recent project with street artist Joseph Steele and creative art agency Beautiful Crime sees the fusion of fashion and art in a very explosive way.

Glass caught up with Lulu Guinness to discuss her views on fashion, art and her new project.

Lulu Guinness Paint Project bag

The Lulu Guinness Paint Project with Beautiful Crime artist Joseph Steele launches on July 11 with an interesting live event – talk us through the concept of the project and what we can expect.
I previously worked with Beautiful Crime artist Fin DAC for the launch of my limited edition Eye clutch bag, so when I heard about a new artist they were working with – Joseph Steele and his conceptual approach to using paint and explosives – I approached them again to see how we could make works of art out of Lulu Guinness bags.

The concept has been to create beautiful bags which look just as great framed on a wall as they do on the arm of a glamorous girl on the red carpet. Working with Joe has allowed us to do just that, with his innovative and experimental techniques which are unique to him. I’ve not come across anyone who can use paint in such an impactful way, not since Anish Kapoor. He’s not afraid to push the boundaries.

What inspired you to turn bags into artworks?
Art is everything to me. It’s all I think about. All of my collections draw on art for inspiration in one way or another so it was a bit of a no-brainer really! It was only a matter of time before the two fused together. I like a challenge, and exploring new techniques, so Joe and I made the perfect partners in crime.

Do you feel your handbags an equal balance between fashion and art? If so, how?
I think in this case they are pretty equal, yes. I believe what Joe and I have created are works of art in their own right. This line of 180-limited edition bags are the first ever of their kind, in that no two bags are the same. We’re both very proud of what we’ve achieved and hope everyone else likes them as much as we do.

You have done many brand collaborations throughout your career. What are the challenges of working with other creatives?
I love working with other like-minded people so I see it as more of a pleasure than a challenge. Working with other creatives is an excellent way to learn and grow as the best ideas, more often than not, come to fruition after brainstorming with other people.

Lulu Paint Project

by Roxy Mirshahi

Images: Lulu Guinness

Each unique bag will signed and numbered by Lulu Guinness and Joseph Steele, and will be available  from July 12.