About Gloria Guinness (Rubio y Alatorre)
Gloria Rubio y Alatorre
Countess Franz Egon von Furstenberg-Hedringen
Princess Ahmed Fakhri Bey
Mrs. Loel Guinness
27.VIII.1912 - 9.XI.1980
Born Gloria Rubio y Alatorre, was a Mexican-born socialite and fashion icon of the 20th century. But also a contributing editor to Harper's Bazaar from 1963 until 1971. She was also a member of the International Best Dressed List.
Reportedly born in Veracruz, Mexico, she was a daughter of José Rafael Rubio, a Mexican journalist, and his wife, Dolores Alatorre. As a young woman, she was employed as a nightclub hostess before moving to Germany.
Her first husband was a German-born resident of Mexico named Scholtens, from whom she was divorced.
She married on 4 October 1935, in London, England, as her second husband, Franz-Egon Maria Meinhard Engelbert Pius Aloysius Kaspar Ferdinand Dietrich, 3rd Count von Fürstenberg-Herdringen (1896-1975); she was his second wife. By him, she had one daughter, Baroness Dolores Maria Agatha Wilhelmine Luise von Fürstenberg-Hedringen (born 31 July 1936) and a son, Baron Franz-Egon Fürstenberg-Hedringen (born 27 July 1939). She also had a stepdaughter from her husband's first marriage, the actress Betsy von Furstenberg. According to her friend Etti Plesch, Gloria Rubio Scholtens was introduced to Fürstenberg by her mentor, newspaper heir, diplomat, and art collector Friedrich Horstmann, who reportedly "dressed her up and presented her at a dinner as a mysterious aristocrat."
Her third husband was Ahmad-Abu-El-Fotouh Fakhry Bey (1921-1988) who she married in 1942. He was a grandson of King Fuad I of Egypt and a nephew of Princess Fawzia of Egypt (the first wife of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran) and King Farouk I of Egypt. During her marriage to Fakhri, she also was a mistress of the British ambassador to France, Duff Cooper. After her divorce in 1949, Gloria Fakhri became involved with both Loel Guinness and David Beatty, 2nd Earl Beatty.
Her fourth husband, whom she married in 1951, was Group Capt. Thomas Loel Guinness, a Member of Parliament (1906-1988) and a member of the extended Guinness beer family, though his particular branch made its fortune in banking and real estate. Of him, she told Noel Coward, " I could never sleep with Loel. He farts too much." There is also a long-standing rumor that Gloria Guinness was employed at some point as a spy and that when she married her fourth husband, she had no valid passport and was legally a citizen of no country. The Guinness had homes in Paris, Epalinges near Lausanne, New York in the The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Normandy near Baron Guy de Rothschild, Manalapan, Florida and Acapulco in Mexico.
She was dressed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Elsa Schiaparelli, Marc Bohan at Christian Dior, Chanel, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and shoes by Roger Vivier. But she also favored the Spaniard Antonio Canovas del Castillo del Rey at Lanvin (clothing). She was one of the first persons to wear the capri pants by Emilio Pucci. She was photographed for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Woman's Wear Daily by Cecil Beaton, Horst P. Horst, Slim Aarons and Henry Clarke. Artist like René Bouché, Kenneth Paul Block and Alejo Vidal-Quadras (1919-94) painted her.
She gave dozens of items to the Victoria & Albert Museum, including pieces by Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972), Christian Dior (1905-57), Antonio Canovas del Castillo del Rey (1908-1984) and Hubert de Givenchy (b.1927). Amongst these famous names were several lesser known labels, such as Marcelle Chaumont (b.1892; house closed in 1953). Some items by Balenciaga and Schiaparelli were donated to The Costume Institute in New York.
Guinness wrote frequently for Harper's Bazaar, most famously asserting, in the magazine's July 1963 issue: "Elegance is in the brain as well as the body and in the soul. Jesus Christ is the only example we have of any one human having possessed all three at the same time." She also wrote an appreciation to the catalogue The World of Balenciaga held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1973.
Gloria Guinness died of a heart attack at her home in Lausanne, Switzerland.