“I liked the idea of creating a bag that made you do a double take…I wanted to create surprising pieces.”

Lulu Guinness, Founder

Quintessentially British, Lulu Guinness is an iconic handbag brand with a legacy-making heritage - as the originator of witty, playful bags to place proudly on the table, not on the floor.

Think Lulu Guinness and think of the iconic, Dali-esque Lips Clutch, the famous Florist Basket - now part of the V&A’s permanent fashion exhibition - and The Birdcage that tweets and you have an archive that transcends fashion accessories to become works of art. Albeit works of art you can take to a party.

Where it all began


It all started with a brief case, in 1989, when its then 29-year-old founder and creative director designed a ladylike attaché case containing convenient pockets for just about everything. How subversive!

Driven by her own style - vintage-inspired and ladylike, with a tongue-in-cheek twist - Lulu began creating the hand-held treasures that made her name. Her first foray was a basket of red roses.

“My life changed in 1993 when I designed the Florist Basket”, remembers Lulu. “It was a black, silk satin handbag shaped like a vase with red velvet roses on top. It caught everyone’s imagination. The success of that bag taught me to dare to be different.”

As well as daring to be different - a phrase coined by one of her heroes, the Surrealist couturier and fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli - Lulu was carving out another niche with the Rose Basket and other handmade playful creations.

“I very much liked the idea of my bags being a conversation piece. Handbags you put on the table not the floor. Also, these bags were very tongue and cheek. Life’s short so you may as well cheer people up if you can.”

A CULT FOLLOWING

The distinctive Dali-esque Lips Clutch remains the brand’s most recognisable accessory, transporting the Surrealist art movement into mainstream popular culture. Never afraid to push boundaries, Lulu’s sophisticated silhouettes and witty embellishments have become cult favourites around the globe. And regularly seen on the arms of trailblazing women, such as Bella Hadid, Kate Moss, Gillian Anderson, Clara Amfo and Blanca Miro.