Kildare Village Outlet Stores were buzzing yesterday. Red-lipped ladies queued excitedly to bag the signature of esteemed designer, Lulu Guinness. The handbag-clad throng fought for space in the Lulu Guinness Outlet Store – clearly elated to be breathing the same air as their favourite fashionista. As Lulu sat, smiled and signed all her personally designed paraphernalia, fans indulged on canapés and thirst quenchers. The lucky lassies who spent over €85 received a free Lulu Guinness ‘Pop Art’ double make-up case. “Whaaaat??” You cry. Fear not, the offer lasts until Sunday 30th March. I caught up with this most loveable lady:
How does it feel to have a shop in an Outlet Village?
I love it. It’s a very sophisticated thing. I also have one in Bicester, in the UK. This place is an experience, a day out. Once someone comes to Kildare or Bicester Outlet Village, they get hooked cos its not how they think it’s going to be. It’s beautifully done. In the olden days you would be like ‘ooh this is too good to go in an outlet’, but now, you put your best in the outlet. It’s not second best anymore; it’s more a timing issue more than anything. I’m really proud of my store here. It comes at you from all angles and there is such an enormous range in there.
Is there anywhere in the world you would like to have a store?
I wouldn’t mind having one in Dublin. I am about to get 34 stores in Asia. Paris would also be nice.
You have four collections at the moment, do they represent various aspects of your personality?
Yes, they represent different aspects of personality, moods and days. I think there’s time for your work bag, time for a fun clutch and lots of people buy my bags as presents.
Do you have a favourite?
No favourite, usually the one I have just designed. If I’m going to something, it always comes back to my red or black perspex lip bag
Will you ever branch out from accessories?
I’d love to do a hotel or a theatre set. I’d love to do a hotel suite in Ireland actually. Interiors are my relaxation thing.
What made you decide that red lips would be your signature look?
I put on the red lipstick at the age of 16 and decided it was my coulour. It was hard to get back then cos it wasn’t fashionable. It’s really sweet, when I go places people wear red lipstick as some sort of greeting and obviously my ambition is to have my own red lipstick.
Will you be doing a spot of shopping while you are here?
Oh I hope so. I’ll probably pop into Gerard Darel, Louise Kennedy, Links of London and David Clulow although I did just buy new Miu Miu sunglasses, which I love. I’ll have a field day at the airport. I stock up on all the Guinness trinkets.
If you weren’t designing accessories what would you do?
I’d be a documentary maker or a theatre designer.
And finally, any advice for budding designers?
Don’t start your own business until you have worked for other people. Do your training and learn when someone else is paying the bills. What can happen is the more successful they get, the less they get to do what they were originally good at cos they are running the business.
Lulu Guinness is available at www.kildarevillage.com