British fashion designer Lulu Guinness has been going to Fashion Week for longer than she can remember.
But fashion has changed a lot over the years — for the better, she insists, particularly with the rise of social media.
It was once impossible for little known fashion designers to market their products on a mass scale.
Now, with just a few posts on Instagram, everyone has the opportunity to get noticed.
“If you have a product, it can be shown to an audience. It doesn’t have to be chosen to be shown on that shelf or that magazine. So now, if you’ve got genuine talent, you can make it happen,” she tells BUILD at a Yahoo Style London Fashion Week event on Friday.
The 57-year-old, wearing a statement red lip and matching red platforms launched her handbag and accessories line in 1989.
Since then, she’s become a household name, best known for her lip-shaped clutches.
This summer, she debuted her first ready-to-wear collection, which she hopes will be accessible to everyone.
“Everyone is a valid customer. Everyone is welcome,” she says. “I’ve never just been interested in the fashionista bubble.”
“It gives me such pleasure to go on the bus and see someone wearing one of my bags. That’s the hit you need after all your work.”
Guinness embraces her age, and wants her line to appeal to young and old alike.
“I’m not trying to be down with the kids. I want to have dignity,” she adds, showing off her small dog-shaped metallic silver clutch, resembling her own West Highland white terrier called Daphne.
“We’ve got lots of crossover tops and dresses so your waist can be any size.”
What makes her designs unique? Faces and the “power of cute.”
“My real obsession is faces,” she says. “I want to tell people to face the moment.”
Since launching in the 1980s, Guinness’ collections have been hugely popular in the Asian market, where the cuteness of her creations really appeal.
“I love Asia, where I’ve had fans since very early on in my career. They love the doll faces and the lips.”
It was in Asia that Guinness first became aware of a customer demand for her brand to branch out, away from just bags and accessories.
“In Taiwan and China, they wanted shoes and clothing so we really just had to just get going.”
Guinness’ first ready-to-wear collection is available to purchase online now.