Kelly Cooper Barr
Kelly Cooper Barr has an enviable life; she’s travelled the world, worked and played with the rich and famous and has a wardrobe to die for. However - and a theme clearly emerging with all our Beautiful Women - is that to Kelly, family and friends are what really matters. Married to world champion sailor, Baron Stuart Simpson, they have four children between them, and spend their time between Kelly’s homeland of Scotland, and their home in London.
Kelly’s CV reads like every woman’s dream; starting in the music business working for producer Pete Waterman, she was at the birth of the career of Kylie and Rick Astley, and later worked with legend, George Michael. Her first job was to promote Rick, to get him press and airplay.
She hired a car, drove him the length of Britain going to radio stations and night clubs. By the time they got back to London he was in the top 20 and doing ‘phone interviews with Radio One. “It was so exciting to hear his single ‘Never Going To Give You Up’, announced as Number One on the radio”. Kelly laughs and tells us “I thought wow! I didn’t know the music business was that easy!”
Later Kelly went into fashion PR; she was a contributor on many publications including time as Fashion Editor for Scotland on Sunday and Editor at Large for Red Magazine. She also appeared on many TV programmes as a fashion expert. She was a costume designer on David Mackenzie’s films and on many TV commercials and Music promos.
Her love for clothes and fashion also extended to costume design and fashion styling - and her clients included Armani, Agent Provocateur, Harvey Nichols and All Saints - to name a few! Later Kelly ran Hive, her own PR and events company in Scotland, promoting luxury brands and producing exclusive events.
We met Kelly through one of her close friends, actress Michelle Collins, “I love my girlfriends, I am a classic girl’s girl” she tells us, “I will do anything for them and I know they’ve got my back too”. Kelly thinks women are amazing, and it’s clear the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; her daughter Skye is making a difference too. Check out Skye’s Pxssy Palace, a club night and safe space for women, which is growing into a force to be reckoned with.
Like everyone else, Kelly has had her tough times and describes her divorce to her first husband as “not easy”. Although more recently, through her position on the board of Glasgow School of Art, Kelly watched her tireless fund-raising literally go up in flames. “We worked so hard to raise money the first time around and had just started to see the benefits of it and now this second fire is beyond belief!”
When she can, Kelly loves to sail with her husband, and was with him when they won the Antigua Classic. We’re not sure if Kelly will ever shake off her love for fashion and still does styling from time to time. Unsurprisingly, Kelly is effortlessly chic and we ask her what the secret is, especially as women get older. “Don’t wear head to toe designer; take little aspects and mess it up! Wear a little Gucci with some casual trousers, for example”. At the moment, her go-to designers are Fendi, Roksanda, Christopher Kane and Stella McCartney for a sexy dress!
For more tips here are Kelly’s answers to our 5 Beautiful Thinking questions
1. What’s the best thing about getting older?
Best things about getting older are the wisdom and the attitude. You care less what ‘people‘ think about you and more about how to live an amazing, authentic life. I also love being the old sage to my younger friends. Telling stories of my experiences to help them or to give advice.
2. Who is your female inspiration and why?
My female inspiration is my actress daughter Skye. She amazes and inspires me. She cares so much about people who are less privileged than her or have had a very tough time for one reason or another, it’s important for her to make change and justice happen. Whether it’s marching for Black Lives Matter or creating her exclusive club night, Pxssy Palace. Not only that, she makes me laugh every day with her sunny disposition. I learn so much from her.
3. What’s your top health/spiritual/beauty tip for ageing beautifully?
My tip is if at all possible, make yourself happy. No one else can do it for you!!! A smile lights up your face and the room.
Health wise, I try to do a bit of exercise most days. Either yoga or walking our dog. Going to a beautiful park or beach with my husband Stuart and our puppy makes me happy and is exercise. Two ticks!
I completed a teacher training yoga course and learned to meditate thanks to my health guru friend Julie Hanson of Seasonal Yoga. Its great being able to do my practice wherever I am. This also makes me happy and calm as well as stretching my body.
I love skiing and swimming too. You’ll see there’s a pattern to my exercises. Only fun stuff. No gym for me as I hate going to the gym. It is not fun for me.
4. What would your younger self say to you now?
If my younger self met me she would not believe my life today!!! She’d be delighted but also extremely surprised.
5. What are your dreams for your future?
My dreams for the future are that my kids Josh & Skye and my step daughters Sabrina & Lara all have careers they love and have kind lovely partners who will give their Daddy's and me lots of gorgeous grandchildren!!!
Also that Stuart and I continue to be lovely with each other and to stay curious about others and the world.
Let the journey continue....