Daphne Guinness

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Daphne Guinness
Daphne Guinness at FIT.jpg
Daphne Diana Joan Susanna Guinness

(1967-11-09) 9 November 1967 (age 52)
Hampstead, London, England
Modelling information
Height1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Hair colourBrown and platinum blonde
Eye colourBrown

Daphne Diana Joan Susanna Guinness (born 9 November 1967) is an English[1] socialite and fashion designer. She is a direct descendant of the 18th century Irish brewer Arthur Guinness.

Early life[edit]

Her father is Jonathan Guinness, 3rd Baron Moyne, the eldest son of Diana Mitford and Bryan Guinness. Diana Mitford was the daughter of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale, the father of the Mitford sisters. Mitford divorced Guinness and married the leader of the British Union of Fascists, Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet. Daphne Guinness has said she did not know of Mosley's political affiliations, before she heard in 1980 on the BBC News that he had died.[2]

Daphne Guinness' mother, Jonathan Guinness' second wife, was Suzanne Lisney (died 2005), of Cadaques, Spain, and Paris.

As a child, she grew up in the country houses owned by her family in England and Ireland. She spent her holidays in an 18th-century former monastery in Cadaqués, Catalonia, where the neighbors included Salvador Dalí, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Dieter Roth, and Richard Hamilton.[3]


Guinness' first work in fashion was with Isabella Blow.[4] At the request of Fashion Institute of Technology director Valerie Steele, she spent two years mounting an exhibition of a hundred displays of her clothing, which was staged within the context of her other projects, film and modelling.[citation needed] She has worked with Karl Lagerfeld,[5] NARS, MAC, Akris, Gareth Pugh[6] and Philip Treacy, working with them artistically or as a model or both.

She was a friend of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen.[7][8] Scheduled to model for charity on the runway the day his suicide was announced, Guinness veiled herself in mourning.[9]

She designs fashion, jewelry, and perfume.[10] Since 1994, she has been on the International Best Dressed List.[11] In 2010, she was named in Tatler's top 10 best-dressed list.[12] In 2011, she created a make-up line for MAC cosmetics.[13][14] In January 2011, she was asked by Tom Ford to close his comeback womenswear show.[citation needed]


Guinness has walked in two of Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Relief shows to raise funds for disaster victims.[15] In the same vein, in April 2008, she auctioned off part of her wardrobe, with the proceeds going to a struggling British charity called Womankind Worldwide, which deals with women's issues at home and abroad, such as domestic violence.[16]

In June 2010, Guinness purchased at auction the entire wardrobe of Isabella Blow, her friend who committed suicide in 2007. The lot was purchased prior to an auction which was arranged at Christie's.[17] Guinness said of the purchase, "Indeed, in many ways, the auction would not be merely a sale of clothes; it would be a sale of what was left of Issie, and the carrion crows would gather and take away her essence forever."[17] She later announced that she would be displaying the wardrobe at Central Saint Martins and online, as well as starting a foundation to help with mental illness.[18] Guinness also held an auction in 2012 where she raised $744,285 for the Isabella Blow Foundation.[19] The official show, entitled "Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore," is set for display in November 2013 at Somerset House in London.[20]

In 2012, Guinness auctioned 100 items from her wardrobe to raise funds to start the Isabella Blow Foundation: a charity that provides donations for bursaries at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, and also supports mental health charities.

In February 2013 Guinness, along with Baroness Monica von Neumann and Lynn Ban, donated a collection of her shoes to the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology's Shoe Obsession exhibit.[21]


Guinness has worked as an artist, actress, model, collector and designer.[2] Fashion photographer Steven Klein, chose Guinness for two Vogue Italia covers. In the first, she plays Jean Seberg in Romain Gary's "Les Oiseaux vont mourir au Perou" In the other, she embodies Delphine Seyrig in Alain Resnais' masterpiece, "L'Année dernière à Marienbad".[citation needed]

In Spring 2009 Guinness was chosen as the face of an advertising campaign for Swiss clothing brand Akris. In 2009 Guinness launched her eponymous fragrance in partnership with French fashion house Comme des Garcons.

David LaChapelle chose her to appear in his Maybach advertising campaign in two pictures for the car's Zeppelin model. On another occasion, when working for LaChapelle, she spent six hours in a tank of water, immersed for up to two minutes at a time, to produce two underwater images, with one titled "Daphne Guinness in Water".[citation needed]

In Autumn 2010 Guinness launched a limited edition makeup line with French cosmetics company NARS. In 2011 Guinness collaborated with MAC cosmetics to launch a limited edition makeup line.

She is also featured in the series "Return to Eden", which has not yet been released.[citation needed]

In September 2011, more than half a million visitors attended the Alexander McQueen exhibition "Savage Beauty", at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Shortly thereafter, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology devoted one of its galleries to about a hundred of Guinness' most important pieces.[22]

In May 2011 Guinness was asked to dress live in the window of department store Barney's New York ahead of the Costume Institute's MET Gala, to mark the opening of “Savage Beauty.”

In 2011 Guinness was photographed by photographer Bryan Adams and featured on the cover of Zoo Magazine.[23]

On 31 January 2012, Guinness had put her art-filled Fifth Avenue apartment for sale for 14 million US dollars.[24]

In 2016 Guinness starred in Stevn Klein's advertising campaign for Macallan Whiskey. Guinness appears extensively in David La Chapelle's 2017 ‘Lost And Found’ series.



Guinness has produced and edited three short films :

  • Cashback, short film nominated for an Academy Award in 2004, was later made into a feature-length version. Guinness produced this film for the photographer Sean Ellis.[2]
  • "Phenomenology of Body" was a hymn to the evolution of the female wardrobe over millennia, and is available on the NY Times website.
  • "Mnemosyne" was an 'anti-commercial' made to comment on the scent, "DAPHNE", that Guinness made at the request of Comme des Garçons. The film was nominated for a Webby award.[citation needed]


In 2011, Guinness starred in Joe Lally's film, "The Murder of Jean Seberg".[25]

In December 2011, she was photographed, while recorded livestream, by Nick Knight of SHOWstudio.com for 36 hours, resulting in five short films which were played in the windows of the Paris department store, Printemps. In several of these films, Guinness, a soprano, sang opera arias, making her public musical debut.[citation needed]

At the end of 2011, photographers Markus Klinko and Indrani, Guinness, and stylist GK Reid produced "The Legend of Lady White Snake", a film based on an ancient Chinese legend, where Guinness played the central role of Lady White Snake.[26] Bernard-Henri Lévy wrote her dialogue for the film.[27]

In 2012, Guinness starred in Shakki,[28] a short sci-fi fiction directed by Julien Landais.

In 2017 Guinness starred in ‘The Aspern Papers’, a film inspired by letters between romantic poet Jeffrey Aspern and Juliana Bordereau directed by Julien Landais.


Music Videos[edit]

  • In 2013, Guinness released a music video entitled Fatal Flaw which was directed by Nick Knight.[29]
  • In 2014, Guinness released a music video for the song "Evening In Space" the lead single of her debut album set to be released in September. The video was directed by David LaChapelle.[citation needed]
  • In 2014, David Barron directed a documentary filmed in Guinness' Irish home called Daphne Guinness, The Last Leveller that focuses on her musical work and personal musical tastes.[30]
  • In 2016 Guinness released three music videos: one for the song The Long Now, directed by Luca Pizzaroni, for the song Magic Tea, directed by Christel Franken, and for the song Old School, directed by Jamie Kendall.
  • Two more music videos were released in 2017: for the song Remember To Breathe, directed by The Fashtons, and for the song Electric Consciousness, directed by Joseph Lally and featuring fashion designers The Blonds.


  • Optimist in Black was produced by Tony Visconti and released in 2016.
  • Daphne and the Golden Chord was produced by Tony Visconti and released in 2018

Performances to date[edit]

  • In 2014 Guinness performed at Shepherd's Bush Empire
  • Guinness made a guest appearance on Tony Visconti's 2013/ 2014 tour Holy Holy.
  • In 2015 Guinness performed at The Steve Strange Memorial tribute: Strange Romance in Cardiff, where she sang a duet with Boy George.
  • In 2016 Guinness performed at The Natural History Museum's topaz exhibition opening.

Guinness currently writes with friend and music collaborator Malcolm Doherty

Personal life[edit]

In 1985, when she moved to New York City, Guinness came to know Andy Warhol, for whom her sister Catherine had been a personal assistant for many years.[31] In 1987, she married Spyros Niarchos, the second son of Stavros Niarchos, the shipping magnate.[32] The couple had three children. Her settlement, obtained at the time of her 1999 divorce, is for an undisclosed sum, which was added to her Guinness inheritance.[33]

She lives in London and Manhattan with her three children: Nicolas Stavros Niarchos (born 1989), Lex Spyros Niarchos (born 1991), and Ines Sophia Niarchos (born 1995).[2]

She has been romantically involved with French TV philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy for a number of years. In the February 2011 issue of Harper's Bazaar, Guinness confirmed to journalist Derek Blasberg: "He is obviously the love of my life."[34][35]

In 2017, Guinness auctioned Contra Mundum, a gold and diamond set chainmail glove made in partnership with jewellery designer Shaun Leane, through Sotheby's NYC. It sold for an undisclosed sum.


  1. ^ Mead, Rebecca (19 September 2011). "Precarious Beauty". Retrieved 17 May 2019 – via www.newyorker.com.
  2. ^ a b c d Garratt, Sheryl. Daphne Guinness's glove story, Daily Telegraph, 25 June 2011. Accessed 3 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Daphne Guinness". W Magazine. March 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  4. ^ Lyden, Jacki (13 November 2011). "Daphne Guinness: An Icon On Fashion's Cutting Edge". National Public Radio. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  5. ^ "I am convinced that Daphne Guinness and Karl Lagerfeld are the same person". The Beat Buzz. 29 January 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  6. ^ West, Hattie (30 November 2011). "Vanishing Act". Vogue Magazine. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  7. ^ Cohen, Tamara (21 September 2010). "Never Wear Stilts To Church". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  8. ^ Anderson, Christina (9 November 2012). "Daphne Guinness Style Evolution". Huffington Post. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  9. ^ Donnelly, Erin (26 November 2010). "Naomi Campbell And Daphne Guinness Attend Alexander McQueen's Funeral Wearing His Dramatic Designs". Stylist. Archived from the original on 22 November 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  10. ^ "Daphne Guinness". Zimbio. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  11. ^ "The International Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame: Women". Style. Vanity Fair. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  12. ^ Johnson, Angela (30 January 2010). "Who's that new Tatler girl? Unknowns make mark in style bible's best-dressed Top 10 - including girl who loves Harrods doughnuts". Mail Online. Daily Mail. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  13. ^ "Daphne Guinness for M·A·C". Maccosmetics.com. 14 June 2010. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  14. ^ Daphne Guinness for MAC, Style and Wisdom, 12 December 2011. Accessed 3 May 2012.
  15. ^ Brant, Peter. "Daphne Guinness". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  16. ^ "Daphne Guinness Auction: A Peek Inside The Closet Of A Stylish Eccentric". The Luxe Chronicles. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  17. ^ a b Alexander, Ella (15 June 2010). "Isabella Blow auction cancelled". British Vogue. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  18. ^ Mau, Dhani (16 February 2012). "Daphne Guinness To Exhibit Isabella Blow's Wardrobe At Central St. Martins And Online". Fashionista. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  19. ^ Rawi, Maysa. The Daphne Guinness collection: Heiress' wardrobe set to fetch thousands at charity auction, Daily Mail, 13 April 2012. Accessed 3 May 2012.
  20. ^ Conti, Samantha (8 May 2013). "Isabella Blow Show Set For London". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  21. ^ Rabinovitch, Simona (20 February 2013). "MFIT EXHIBITS 150 EXTREME DESIGNER SHOES". Gotham Magazine. Niche Media. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  22. ^ Mead, Rebecca. Precarious Beauty, The New Yorker, 26 September 2011. Accessed 3 May 2012.
  23. ^ "Daphne Guinness Being Fierce In Zoo". 26 November 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  24. ^ Fenner, Justin. Daphne Guinness's Fifth Avenue Apartment Is On The Market For $14M, Styleite, 31 January 2012. Accessed 3 May 2012.
  25. ^ "Daphne Guinness". SHOWstudio. December 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  26. ^ Sparks, Cator. Do It Daphne! Guinness Shines in Short Film Based on Ancient Chinese Legend, Stylelist, 4 March 2012. Accessed 3 May 2012.
  27. ^ Feitelberg, Rosemary. Daphne Guinness and 'The Legend of Lady White Snake', Women's Wear Daily, 7 February 2012. Accessed 3 May 2012.
  28. ^ Julien Landais (18 August 2013), SHAKKI starring Daphne Guinness Trailer HD — by Julien Landais, retrieved 5 December 2016
  29. ^ Choi, Mary H.K. (10 June 2013). "Daphne Guinness's 'Fatal Flaw' Music Video With Nick Knight Is A Triumph". Style. MTV. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  30. ^ Barron, David. "Daphne Guinness: The Last Leveller". David V Barron. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  31. ^ "Fairy tale lives or not? The truth about the Guinness sisters' sad, turbulent lives - Independent.ie". Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  32. ^ "On my radar: Daphne Guinness's cultural highlights". the Guardian. 30 October 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  33. ^ "Daphne Guinness can't recall her marriage to Greek shipping heir Spyros Niarchos". The Sydney Morning Herald. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  34. ^ Blasberg, Derek (11 February 2011). "The Real Daphne Guinness". Harper's Bazaar. p. 2. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  35. ^ Blasberg, Derek (12 February 2011). "Daphne Guinness: Bernard-Henri Levy 'Is Quite Obviously The Love of My Life'". Huffington Post.

External links[edit]