Arthur Lasenby Liberty, born in Chesham, Buckinghamshire in1843, opened Liberty of London in 1875 with a £2,000 loan from his future father-in-law selling fabric, Eastern Objets d’art and ornaments. There were originally only 3 members of staff. The store was a hit and he paid off his loan in 18 months.
By the 1890’s Arthur Liberty had started many lasting relationships with talented English artists and designers of the period. The style of the time was Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau. Arthur was very integral in developing the Art Nouveau style with his artists and designers and the store became famously associated and world renowned for producing beautiful fabric and art in this style known by Italians as ‘Stile Liberty‘.
The fabulous Tudor building, on Great Marlborough Street, that now houses the stores many coveted wares was built in 1924 by Edwin T. Hall and his son Edwin S. Hall using the timber form two ships, it is a Grade II listed building. Unfortunately Arthur Lasenby Liberty died during 1917, seven years before completion.
Liberty‘s style has always been very influential in fashion, interior design and have always been on the pulse by working with important and current Style makers and has numerous successful collaborations under their belt (like the Nike campaign pictured above). The textiles mostly recognised as Liberty’s are beautiful small ditsy florals, Art Nouveau patterns and William Morris designs. They also work with interesting celebrities. All are still available to this day, you can see them online here.