Daphne Guinness is a creative polymath with a mission to produce and foster enduring art. She has worked with some of this century's most esteemed designers and photographers and is widely considered an authority on fashion, notably couture. She holds a unique position: straddling roles as an acclaimed model, collector, commentator, performer and muse. She is perhaps best known for her work with photographers David La Chappelle, Steven Klein and Nick Knight/SHOWstudio, and her close working and personal relationships with the late Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow.
Guinness spent a nomadic childhood between London, Paris, Ireland and Cadaques, where her parents had homes. Aged 19, she relinquished plans to train as an opera singer at London’s Guildhall, when life took an unexpected turn towards marriage and children. For ten years she lived with her family between London, Greece and New York. She divorced in 1999.
In 2012, Guinness auctioned 100 items from her personal wardrobe, the proceeds of which she used to establish The Isabella Blow Foundation. During it’s nine-year tenure, the charity raised funds for mental health initiatives and provided annual scholarships for aspiring designers at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design. Since concluding the charity in 2021, Guinness has launched and funded two additional annual scholarships at Central Saint Martins, the duration of which will be ongoing.
After the suicides of close friends Blow & McQueen, followed by the loss of her brother to cancer, Daphne reassessed everything. She felt an urge to return to music: the passion that had dominated her early life. Withdrawing to a studio in Ireland, she wrote and recorded songs to process her grief. After hearing a sample of her work, David Bowie recommended her to his long-time producer Tony Visconti. Another chapter of her life thus began. The product was her debut album Optimist In Black: released to critical acclaim in 2016.
Guinness has since recorded a further two albums produced by Visconti. Daphne & The Golden Chord, a personal and unflinching album, was released in 2018 and marked her progression towards a more glam rock direction.
At once playful and confessional, Daphne’s music is an extension of her most inner thoughts. She has said “I began in music and now I’ve ended up there… I can’t sing a single word I don’t believe in.”
Her most recent album: ‘Revelations’ explores a French-flavored disco sound and was released in 2021, to a host of strong reviews. AnOther Magazine said of it: ‘The silent muse has found her voice, and it sings.’
In addition to her music, Guinness continues to produce art, design and essays. She remains open to collaborative projects.