Arthur Lasenby Liberty founded the store in 1875 to bring beautiful and exotic products from around the world to London. Liberty aimed to challenge the rigid and formal Victorian fashion and design norms and began importing and selling textiles and ornaments from the Far East, particularly from Japan. These textiles featured intricate, colourful designs and quickly gained popularity in London.
In the late 19th century, Liberty started to produce its fabrics, designed by leading artists and designers. These fabrics often featured floral, paisley, and other intricate patterns that became synonymous with the Liberty brand. The fabrics were closely associated with the Art Nouveau movement, and the organic and flowing designs of Liberty fabrics reflected the Art Nouveau aesthetic.
The store is housed in a beautiful Tudor-style building on Great Marlborough Street, just off Regent Street, completed in 1924. Its distinctive exterior makes it a notable landmark and very different from the surrounding buildings in Soho,
The main building of Liberty was constructed using timber from two ships: HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan. This timber framework gives the store a distinct Tudor-revival aesthetic. The store’s façade, with its dark wooden beams and white plasterwork, is immediately recognisable.
The theme continues inside the store, where the design prioritises wooden detailing, handmade tiles, and stained glass. The store is known for its central atrium, where light cascades down, illuminating the dark wood interiors and highlighting the intricate details. Wooden balconies and staircases wrap around this central space, providing views of the various levels. At Christmas time, the central space is used as the location of a Christmas tree, which many Londoners want to see each year.
Liberty offers a high-end shopping experience featuring a wide range of products for the home, including textiles, furniture and decorative items. The store is particularly known for its unique and curated selection of items.
Liberty carries a mix of established luxury brands and emerging designers. It’s a destination for those seeking high-quality, unique fashion and lifestyle items. Also, the store has a well-regarded beauty hall featuring a wide selection of cosmetics and fragrances, including many niche and speciality brands.
For Christmas, Liberty has a specific Christmas shop that features decorations, luxury baubles, and other things to give that festive feeling.
The distinctive floral prints, often called “Liberty prints,” have become a signature style. These prints are known for their small-scale floral patterns and are often associated with a romantic and feminine aesthetic.
Liberty of London’s unique and eclectic style and its rich history in producing distinctive fabrics have made it a beloved institution in fashion and design. The company’s commitment to artistic expression and quality craftsmanship continues to be a hallmark of Liberty fabrics and products.