Lulu Guinness on Her New Diffusion Line, English Fashion, and Kate Middleton as the 'Perfect Princess'

Lulu Guinness, she of the quirky, embellished bags, is finally hitting the high street. Later this month, the designer will officially launch LULU by Lulu Guinness, a diffusion line exclusively sold at JC Penney. We chatted with her about English fashion and everyone's favorite English fashion-wearer, Kate Middleton. Read on.
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Lulu Guinness, she of the quirky, embellished bags, is finally hitting the high street. Later this month, the designer will officially launch LULU by Lulu Guinness, a diffusion line exclusively sold at JC Penney. We chatted with her about English fashion and everyone's favorite English fashion-wearer, Kate Middleton. Read on.
Courtesy

Courtesy

Lulu Guinness, she of the quirky, embellished bags, is finally hitting the high street. Later this month, the designer will officially launch LULU by Lulu Guinness, a diffusion line exclusively sold at JC Penney.

The collection, which includes a variety of bags and accessories that all sell for under $65, reportedly had JCP shoppers stalking the store’s stock rooms at its soft launch in November. The small kiss-lock clutches, polka-dotted satchels, and cheeky scarves all recall Guinness’s design signatures--except at a drastically reduced price. (To put this into perspective, some of the bags from her main line sell for upwards of $600.)

In advance of LULU's February 22 launch, we sat down with Guinness to chat about her new ventures, English fashion’s evolution, and her take on Kate Middleton.

Fashionista: How did this whole collection come about? Lulu Guinness: Well, I was in Hong Kong to visit a manufacturing company and people were talking about all of these amazing designers at JCP that they were getting together through [manufacturing conglomerate] Li & Fung. The more I heard about it, and how people like Nanette Lepore, Charlotte Ronson, Jonathan Adler, and Sephora were going there, the more I became interested.

Fashionista: What do you hope people take away from the collection? I love for everyone to be able to buy my bags--the prices are phenomenal. [Shows a bag] It’s beautifully made and has all of the things you’d expect from a proper bag.

Fashionista: How do you think English fashion has changed since you’ve started designing? I think we are far better respected and it’s such a relief. I think we gathered a lot of respect with great designers like Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane...

Fashionista: Yeah, what do you think about Christopher Kane’s new investment from PPR? I think he deserves it big time. He really does deserve it—he is more than talented and is a very nice person. He will do it well. I’m really proud of British fashion at the moment, it’s cool.

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Courtesy

Fashionista: Speaking of British fashion, what do you think of Kate Middleton? I think she looks perfect for what she is doing--she’s the perfect princess. She looks very English, she doesn’t have that sort of chic quotient that maybe a French equivalent would have, but I like that she wears clothes that are affordable and that she’s a real person. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that Americans are much more interested in our royal family than we are. I feel sorry for her, I think she is a really nice person trying to do that best that she can. I think she dresses well for what she does.

Fashionista: Nicholas Kirkwood won the BFC/ Vogue Fund the other day, do you think a fund like that would have helped you when you had started out? All things like that didn’t exist when I started. There was no help. I’m so keen on my generation of people to help as many students and young talent as possible. I’m delighted for [Nicholas]; he’s just at that stage where he’s really got a name and he sells to all of the best places.