In My Shoes: Louisa Guinness

Louisa Guinness is an Irish-born London-based jewellery gallery owner and gemmologist. Following a career in finance where she was based in Hong Kong and the US, she returned to London with her husband and entered the art world, opening her first gallery in 2003. Collaborating with contemporary artists to create wearable art, her exhibitions also feature masterpieces by modern masters such as Picasso and Man Ray. A new gallery on Kensington Church Street which opened in 2023 includes a carefully selected group of work by independent jewellery designers. Follow @louisaguinness 

Tell us a little about you.

I am a gemmologist, jewellery lover and gallery owner. I have worked for 20 years with artists, collaborating with them to make jewellery. I have recently opened a new gallery on Kensington Church Street. Since the opening of my new gallery, I have expanded my stable to include independent jewellery designers.

I was born in Ireland, went to school in England then spent the first 12 years of my life working in finance living in Hong Kong, New York and San Francisco but all the time working on the Asian markets. I met my husband in 1999 and moved back to London. I live between London and Newbury with my 3 fairly grown-up children, husband and 2 ½ dogs. ½ is because I have 2 spaniels and a coton de tuleur and the family don’t rate the small white fluff as a complete dog!

How do you start your day?

I start my day with a big stretch, a cup of coffee and maybe some fruit. I often do the 16 hour fast which means no food until lunchtime. I’m not really a morning person. I like a peaceful morning coffee with no talking. Then, I’ll go for a walk in the park with the ½ dog or a friend or both. Until about 10am is ‘my time’ so I try not to work, check emails or social media before then, but it doesn’t always work!

What is your fashion philosophy?

I believe comfort leads to confidence – I am miserable if uncomfortable, even if I might look a million dollars! I remember well the event where the waistline was too tight, or the skirt was too short - for me, that can ruin an evening. I also don’t like brand names – I don’t like it to be obvious where I have bought something. I will often hunt down unusual brands that I might see online. I’m happy to share where something is from, but I don’t need to wear it.

Can you share a styling tip with us?

My best styling tip is to choose a colour or a tone for a period and focus on it.  For example, for one summer I might choose green. This means that for that year, I buy or use things that work with green, I pack around the green theme which limits my choices and means that everything will go with each other when it’s all mixed up. The colour is usually initiated by a purchase. A great piece of jewellery, pair of shoes, a bag or a trip.

Who inspires you?

The Queen when she was alive for her ability to never change. Also, David Bowie for his constant ability to change.

How do you unwind?

I like to be at home alone or with family. I’ll cook a delicious but simple meal with the best ingredients, not drink too much so I get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

I also like to get out into nature. If I notice I’m getting cranky, I look at my exercise routine and amount of time spent outdoors – it’s often the root of a problem.

If you could visit anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be?

I’d love to see polar bears in their natural habitat.

Do you have any travel tips?

Always use a suit case that is too big rather than too small if you can. If it’s big enough, leave your clothes on the hanger. They are much quicker to unpack this way.

Can you tell us something you discovered recently?

That I can wear heels and be comfortable. I thought the Nada shoes by Rupert Sanderson would be uncomfortable as the heel is so thin and elegant, but they are not! I’m not saying I could walk miles but I can certainly manage an evening.

What is the best part of your job?

I get to wear lots of fab jewellery and get my soul healed by gemstones. I also get to work with loads of creative people who inspire me daily.

Which shoes do you love this season?

For more formal occasions, I love the Nada heels – I adore the Aqua velvet, which will go with everything and work both for summer and winter. On the other hand, I also love the Tritaz Cromato in denim for casual style and comfort to wear daily basis.

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