Kirsty's Favourite Stores - Liberty
Hello and welcome back to my blog........
In the early stages of developing my blog I've been thinking about what my first year of content looks like. I want to ensure that you find it informative, fun to read and inspiring and mix it up with some regular features as well as some 'of the moment' articles.
This article is the first of a new series I'm developing called "Kirsty's Favourite Stores". It's inspired by my life as a personal shopper which was itself inspired by my life-long hobby......shopping! I adore spending time going around stores - it's not just the process of purchasing (although that can be lovely) but it's the experience of being in the store - making new discoveries, seeing the curation of products and taking in the unique aspects of each store. Stores become favourites for two main reasons: (1) they master a particular product or service or (2) they are wonderful places to experience the best of retail in. For me, most of my choices tick both boxes and my first choice certainly does.
Come with me as I take you to one of my most favourite stores in the world - Liberty of London!
Liberty was founded in 1875 by Arthur Lasenby Liberty; a true visionary retailer of his time. His motive was to bring the fantasy and intrigue of the great eastern bazaars to London's West End and curate a home for the most curious, the most beautiful and the most unique products. Today, 142 years later, I believe Liberty's beauty is the retainment of their founder's vision. For me, and for many, it's a place to go for special, unique products and a place that prides itself as a market leader in haberdashery, fabric and their signature Liberty print.
My mum introduced me to the mock Tudor black and white building, teetering off Regent Street over 20 years ago. She's a fine seamstress and talented artist (although very modest) and she literally comes alive walking through the store - her enthusiasm and love has passed onto me but in a different way. I can't sew a button on and both grandmothers have despaired when trying to teach me to sew or knit but I have a fine appreciation for design (be it fashion or home) and love amazing retail spaces.
Things I Love About Liberty
Their Unique and Special Products
Liberty is a dream when it comes to this for me. Every time I go into the store I have to allow myself at least an hour to wander around to see what new 'oddities' have landed. The store should be incredibly proud of their buying team as their curation of product and the way they select what pieces they buy from each brand is so unique and so aligned to what Liberty should be.
Here's a snapshot of some of the great discoveries I made on my most recent visit...
The Visual Experience
Sometimes you're born beautiful and other times you need to work on it. Liberty is a lovely mix of both. The original store is equally stunning and fascinating with it's vintage facade and interesting original features. However, the visual team are masters of decoration and never fail to make me smile. I enjoy browsing the widow displays but I also enjoy the window displays of Harrods, Selfridges, Bergdorfs....this list goes on. What I love about THIS store is the unique touches that are oh so Liberty. Check out the multi-coloured flooring, unique takes on the fireplaces, the mirror art, the beautiful soft furnishings and the building's unique quirks...
You either love it or you hate it. I love it. What am I talking about? Liberty print of course. It feels quintessentially English with it's floral base and cleverly composed patterns but the innovation in terms of design and the fabrics themselves are second to none. This is why so many brands are delighted to collaborate with Liberty and their signature prints - French Sole, Barbour, Hermes, Marc Jacobs, Uniqlo, Manolo Blannik and Nike are all great examples past and present.
I love the Liberty produced products and on my recent visit I particularly liked the monogrammed tote bags, teas and jams, crockery and the sewing machine. I'm excited to see what collaborations and new products are launched this year. Keep an eye out on my blog and social media for updates!
The Special Store Services and Unique Experiences
Department stores to me are wonderful places because they are not just stores to buy and sell product in but they are spaces to socialise, revitalise and energise in. Liberty is no exception to this and the range of their services are vast and often, unique. A full list of everything is available on their website (see details below). My highlights include:
- Designer Vintage Departments - located within Menswear, Accessories and Womenswear are special little corners of vintage treasures. With each piece unique and special it feels so rewarding to uncover a Chanel jacket or a Valentino wedding dresses or even a Mickey Mouse telephone. You have to see to believe. They also offer a sourcing service, bespoke alterations and specialist cleaning. A must-visit for any vintage lover or collector.
- Taylor Taylor Hair Salon on 3 - Taylor Taylor are without question one of London's coolest boutique salons around. Their amazing cocktail menu and quirky Parisian flea-market furnishings only compliment the fantastic skills of their colour artists and stylists. I've been a fan for years and am a fan for life now it's appeared in Liberty. I can personally recommend Sarah as a true colour genius and Aude for her incredible bob cutting skills. All the staff are treasures and the environment is a compliment to both Liberty and Taylor Taylor - a whopping partnership made in (hair) heaven.
- Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart Florist - Marlborough Street Entrance. If you're a lover of flowers and plants then look no further than the Wild at Heart shop-in-shop at Liberty. First of all, there's something so magical about walking through a bouquet of different floras on entering a store. Secondly, the visual is inspired and eclectic - just as you'd expect from any department partner at Liberty. Thirdly, the staff are divine. So passionate, so creative and just lovely to chat to whilst they create their masterpiece especially for you. Delivery services available upon request.
- Maria Tash Piercing - Ground Floor. For those in the know, Maria Tash is the person to go to when it comes to piercing. Multiple ear piercings are very on trend right now and Liberty's captured this with the most perfect partner. Services are well priced but the jewellery is an investment. However, its beautiful, unique and the staff are acutely trained in the art of "self-decoration". I've recommended this to a few clients now and they've never looked back.
And In Closing...
There's so much I love about this special store that I could write this article forever. Their beauty department, their adorable kids department (Little Liberty), Cafe Liberty, the scarf hall....the list goes on. The staff are also worth a mention - all that I have come into contact with genuinely love the store and their products and fit with the Liberty's uniqueness and quirkiness so naturally.
I hope you find this an interesting and inspiring read. If you're hooked then check out their YouTube channel and Instagram page (they are great at making both pretty compelling). I've also popped all the essential details below - visit if you can!
Have a lovely week and I'll be back on Friday with another new blog post.
Phone Number - +44(0) 20 7734 1234
Website - www.libertylondon.com
Address - Regent Street, London (entrance on Great Marlborough Street)
You Tube - Liberty London
Instagram - liberty london