‘No-one likes a stinky Simon!’
With campaigns for Paul Smith, John Lewis, Barbour and Ugg Australia as well as a dapper off-duty style Jack Guinness has long been on our radar. His trademark look of clippered beard and lustrous locks mean Mr Guinness is constantly in demand with photographers.
Here at Grooming Towers we know Jack for his no-nonsense approach to grooming, so we grabbed five minutes with him ahead of London Collections Men to chat beards, ice baths and his unlikely style inspirations. Thanks Jack!
Interview: Nick Cox with contributions from Olivia Buxton Smith
Picture: Next Model Management
You had your beard well before they became a ‘thing’ so how do you maintain it? Would you ever consider going bare faced for a campaign?
Absolutely- I’m physically but not emotionally attached to my beard! It grows back terrifyingly fast anyway- I get a five’o’clock BEARD. One of my ancestors must have had a fling with a werewolf a few generations back.
What are you looking forward to most about LCM?
The young talent. Seeing labels like Agi & Sam grow each season and gain recognition is so exciting. The best part is, you don’t know what your going to see until the show begins, so the element of surprise is best. I like not knowing!
Who are your style/grooming icons, and which contemporary guys inspire you?
George VI always looked spiffy. Looking back through photography books is also very inspiring- I’m secretly amassing a big collection. Richard Alvedon’s ‘American West’ book is brilliant for denim and workwear looks. Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, James Dean and Brando are always worth checking out. Looking at styles from the past and then giving them a modern twist helps you look unique, rather than copying anyone out there at the moment. Expressing yourself as an individual is the most important thing-that’s what clothes are for!
Growing up did you ever have any grooming disasters?
Yes. I had a rather spectacular short back and sides with a ‘STEP’ (think bowl haircut). Though I’ve seen a few guys in Dalston rocking that strong look, so I guess it’s back. Sorry about that.
What will LCM week mean for you?
I’m working on the upcoming London take-over issue of LA magazine Flaunt with Creative Director Rose Forde- we’re London Content Directors, so I’ll be looking for inspiration, collaborating with all the exciting talent here in London!
How does London differ from the other style capitals and what makes it currently so inspiring?
The street fashion. English people just dress brilliantly. They take risks and have a laugh and that inspires the catwalks. London is unique for having established power-houses like Burberry showing alongside dynamic young brands like Craig Green and Christopher Raeburn. This mix makes London an inspiring place to live and work, and the rest of the world knows it!
East or West? Where are your favourite places to hang out in the capital?
East. West London is fun, but SOME parts are so clean and neat it freaks me out, it’s like a theme park. East London’s been my home for over ten years.
Late night and early mornings, any grooming tips that could help a guy look pulled together?
When things are really bad, and I mean really bad, immerse your face in ice water. It’s insane, it hurts, but it gets rid of puffiness and slaps the late-night right out of you. This one’s not for the faint hearted.
What should every man have in his wash bag? What are the products you can’t live without?
I’ve recently started using Kiehl’s products- they’re great… and because of my beard, products last longer as I only need to do half my face! Moisturising helps me keep looking young- I’m really 72.
Which products work for your skins… have you ever had a facial or skin treatment?
Everyone has different needs, so work out your issues and sort them. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is awesome for night-time recovery. I like the way guys are getting more into grooming but being vain isn’t an attractive quality in anybody. Confidence is, and there is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself. When it comes to facials, I’m not massively them, but never say never…
Do you have a signature fragrance if so what? If not what are you currently wearing and what do you like about it?
Monocle is one of my favourites. Tom Ford has some lovely ones too. I have different scents for different occasions. Smell is a powerful way to make you, and the people you meet, feel different… classy, aggressive, chilled. And no-one likes a Stinky Simon.
Where and when are you happiest?
With my mates just having a laugh….normally they’re having a laugh at me!
1. Werewolf ancestry
2. Robert Redford
3. Jack recommends ice water as a quick fix for late-night induced puffiness
4. Kiehl's Facial Fuel Energising Face Wash £8.50 for 75ml, Kiehl's Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream £15 for 150ml and Kiehl's Facial Fuel Energising Moisture Treatment £29 for 125ml, all from www.kiehls.co.uk
5. Flaunt Magazine
6. Monocle x Comme des Garcon Scent Two: Laurel, £75 for 50ml from www.monocle.com
7. George VI
8. Marlon Brando
9. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, £36 for 30ml from www.kiehls.co.uk