LONDON — David Hodgson is taking the reins at Lulu Guinness as the brand’s creative director, with his new designs set to arrive in-store in February.
Hodgson has been at the company for more than a year and said in an interview that he wants to move Guinness’ vision forward by looking back.
“My first memory of Lulu was when I lived in New York in the early 2000s and Lulu had this store across from Magnolia Bakery. When I got asked about the role, I felt that it evoked that memory for me,” he said.
For Hodgson, Lulu Guinness items are storytellers in themselves. He talks about his friends wanting Lulu Guinness bags for special occasions like a 21st birthday and the school prom. He said he’s eager to bring that side of the brand to life for a new generation.
While Hodgson will be taking over the brand’s vision, he will still be working very closely with the company’s namesake and founder. “Her personality is intrinsic to everything, and it’s always going to be. I go over to her house and we sit around the kitchen table and talk about everything, mainly about what I’m doing, so I’m just really distilling that and infusing it into future collections,” he added.
To stay close to the brand’s original spirit, Hodgson said he plans to do re-editions of signature items and modernize them for the women of today.
One of his new styles is the Bibi bag, a bouclé tote bag reimagined with archive designs such as a jackpot, bingo, crossword and domino style that retails for 225 pounds.
Hodgson has also helped other brands revamp their archive accessories. Prior to working at Lulu Guinness, he ran a design consultancy advising clients such as Smythson, Proenza Schouler and Roland Mouret on their accessories lines. He’s also known for relaunching Loewe’s archive Amazona bag.
One of the archive items he will be relaunching at Lulu Guinness is the brand’s Dice bag. “I had a friend who told me she really wanted the Dice bag when it first came out, and she had always regretted not getting it. It’s these stories that really make the brand so special,” he said, adding it was the right time to refresh the brand.
Hodgson’s designs have slowly been trickling onto the shop floor, with three new styles having debuted in August, and the rest to follow in February. He said that pushing out the styles in small batches, rather than planning for seasonal drops, makes more sense for the brand.
He’s also eager to show off the world of Lulu Guinness and has grand plans for the brand and is looking to introduce new product categories.
“I want to create the world of Lulu Guinness, anchored by bags and accessories,” he said, adding that his plan is to expand into “everything that makes sense in that world” such as sunglasses, stationery, lingerie and beauty. “It’s just thinking about what that Lulu woman would want. What are the different parts in her life?” he said.