Liberty were delighted to be invited to the UK Fashion & Textiles Awards on 23 May. Celebrating the very best of British manufacturing and design, we were thrilled to win the 2013 Retailer of the Year category! There to accept the award on Liberty’s behalf was Lee Whittle, our General Store Manager and Hollie Maddox, our Acting Head of Marketing. We caught up with Lee to find out how the evening went.
Tell us about the beginning of the night…
Our fantastic night at the UK FT awards started off with a welcoming glass of champagne as we arrived at the amazing venue (One Mayfair) and then milled about among the fashion industry leaders, brands, retailers, and celebrities. We were then shown to our table where we sat with Caroline Nodder, Editor-in-Chief at Drapers, as well as the family business Abraham Moon – that later went on to win Supplier of the Year. We were really interested to learn about the Abraham Moon wool business, and found out that we had a lot in common. Even older than Liberty – at a grand old age of 176 years – the Moon business still retains its core values of authenticity and quality. It was great to celebrate their win with them, and then to find out we won Retailer of the Year!
How did you find out we had won?
We were looking through the programme of the evening and saw that Liberty was the only name under the nominees for Retailer of the Year. It turned out that we had already won the award, having been voted for by members of the UK Fashion & Textile Association, with the final vote cast by the judges – which included leading industry figures and journalists. It was great to know that Liberty had been awarded the prize by our business peers, and that we’d been recognised for supporting British designers.
What was it like going up to collect the award?
Surreal! I got to shake hands with Anne, The Princess Royal as she gave me the award and then air-kiss Myleene Klass while a model dressed in Levi’s x Liberty print strutted down the catwalk. We then stood with all the other winners including Christopher Raeburn, Emma Shipley and, of course, the Abraham Moon representatives for a photo. Hollie joked that it was my P-Diddy moment as I managed to strike a pose with Myleene Klass and our model. Fantastic!
Any final thoughts?
It was a really great night for Liberty. The reception we got from everyone was so warm; everyone commented on how much they loved the store and our products and we had more than one person asking how to get their products stocked at the store. For me, it confirmed what I’ve always believed, that Liberty truly is the best and most innovative retailer, retaining its place at the heart of the British Fashion industry.
Liberty’s expert beauty buyer, Sarah Coonan, knows a thing or two about great beauty products. She has tried and tested some of the most effective formulas, helped uncover some of the industry’s most popular beauty secrets and hand selected the best for a coveted place in our beauty hall.
Discover which can’t-do-without products are inside our beauty guru’s make-up bag:
Hourglass Immaculate Foundation
“If you have less than flawless skin this foundation is an absolute must. I think this is one of the most exciting products in our beauty hall! This liquid to powder foundation gives medium to full coverage for a really flawless base. A while back, Hourglass had a problem with the pump on the bottle and so the product wasn’t available. They were absolutely inundated with requests for it and had so much feedback about it having helped clear up customers’ skin problems that they decided to do some clinical testing. It turns out that the formulation actually helps to clear acne, reduce scarring and maintain clear skin. Powerful stuff from one handy little bottle! It contains kaolin (the ingredient that makes clay masks so effective) and dries to an invisible finish.”
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim
“So much has been written about these powders, and for a good reason! The story behind the idea is so great and the product is amazing. When Carisa Janes (founder of Hourglass) was a child, her mother used rose coloured light bulbs in their home so that she looked more beautiful. This stayed with Carisa and she wanted to find a way of achieving these super flattering lighting effects with make-up. Ambient Powder is a wardrobe of lighting effects for any skin tone. The powder is so fine it is invisible on the skin and each one delivers a different look. My favourite is dim which blurs out any imperfection for a really flawless base! It is incredible for softening large pores, evening out blemishes and pigmentation and gives a really subtle glow.”
Chantecaille Lip Gloss in Pink Melon
“This is my all time favourite lip gloss! The formula is really long lasting and non-sticky, which I love – there’s nothing worse than having your hair stuck to your lips. The colour is a really natural pinky peach and looks great with a smoky eye or a natural look. I have one in each handbag and one at my desk – I’m never without it!”
Trish McEvoy High Volume Mascara
“This mascara is amazing. It forms a tubular coating over the lashes and doesn’t crumble so you don’t end up with panda eyes half way through the day. It also has a really small wand which means you get much more precision when applying.”
Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Eye Liner
“I have used this for years and I love it! There’s a reason it has won every award going and it is such a great product. I find it super easy to use and once it’s on, it doesn’t budge.”
Beauty journalists and founders of Getthegloss.com, Susannah Taylor and Sarah Vine, are VIP guests at this week’s Brushes with Greatness beauty event. This Wednesday, the two beauty aficionados will be holding limited one-on-one consultations where they will aim to troubleshoot and discuss all your health and beauty dilemmas with their wealth of experience and unbiased advice. Join the pair again from 6pm for a special Barefaced Beauty masterclass and group discussion where they will share their insider tips together with rum cocktails and exciting goodie bags!
Getthegloss.com was launched by Susannah and Sarah on the principle that you can have beauty and brains! Edited by themselves, it’s an all-singing, all-dancing directory of the best products and services in the industry with great writing, expert advice and recommendations seven days a week. The website enables you to explore everything from the latest breakthrough products and answers to your burning beauty questions, to watching industry professionals in action on their TV pages and interacting with handpicked experts in live web chats.
As part of Brushes with Greatness, our week-long beauty insider event in store, Sarah and Susannah have plucked their favourite products straight from the Liberty beauty hall in a special edit that could change your skincare and beauty regime for life.
Weleda Skin Food – £8.95
“This celebrity favourite is one of our regular go-tos. Skin Food indeed, this product is not only nourishing and hydrating it’s also incredibly soothing even for the driest of skin. Use as an overnight mask to revitalise a dull, lack-lustre complexion.”
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer – £52
“The best primer we’ve ever tried, not only does this little gem have a super silky texture and oil minimising properties (which actually work), it also helps make-up stay budge-proof all day. Plus, it minimises pores, fine lines and wrinkles as well as having an SPF.”
Le Labo Rose 31 50ml – £95
“A modern classic and a firm favourite with the ‘Glossy Posse’, this bewitching scent is a combination of Centifolia Rose, spicy and woody notes.”
REN Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil – £30
“A cult, best-selling bath oil that smells as lusciously indulgent as it sounds. Deeply hydrating, it leaves skin soothed and nourished with one of the most exquisite rose scents on the market.”
JAO Goe Oil – £32
“An all-natural treatment oil, this is one of those products that’ll have you wondering how you ever lived without it. Its multi-purpose properties means it wears many beauty ‘hats’, from the ultimate skin emollient (it soothes even the most dry, chapped or rough skin) to an eye make-up remover or a hair styling cream – the possibilities are endless.”
Kiehls Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter – £36
“This luxe body butter is lightweight yet deeply hydrating, leaving skin super soft and hydrated for 24 hours. With such an addictive comforting scent it’s hard not to keep reaching for more!”
Anne Semonin Botanical Body Oil – £71
“A firm favourite of beauty professionals, this body oil combines many soothing, protecting essential oils to create a formula which is as revitalising and nourishing as it is hydrating. Super soft, beautifully fragrant skin guaranteed.”
Essie Nail Polish in Luxedo – £10.95
“Channel your inner Daisy Buchanan with this charming plum black; the new Rouge Noir.”
Decléor Aroma Sculpt Firming Gel Cream – £43
“A multi-tasking body cream, this product is designed to firm, tighten and nourish the skin whilst boosting cell renewal and skin elasticity. What’s more it imparts a really natural-looking sun kissed tan for disguising the most pallid of skin tones.”
Shop the Editors’ full selection of favourite products exclusively online, here.
Susie Rushton, editor of The Independent Magazine and the book Fashion Now 2, had her first child last year. She’s just returned to work so we caught up with her to find out how she’s coping and what her top 10 Little Liberty picks would be for her daughter.
You’ve just gone back to work, how are you feeling and managing?
I’m feeling good! The first week was tricky, but I think the point is that we spend years working, then a few months on maternity leave, so the return to work quickly becomes the new normal. I put a lot of effort into finding the right childcare, so that’s made a monumental difference.
How has life changed since having a baby?
The day starts at 7am, whether I want it to or not. But thereon in, it’s fantastic.
What is your perfect mother-daughter day?
The weather is fine enough to be outside and we both have pasta bolognaise for lunch.
How do you find time for yourself?
It’s not about that anymore!
Susie shares her 10 picks for baby girls and boys from the Little Liberty collection online.
1. Hooded jacket, Stella McCartney Kids 2. Boidley diamond print bloomers, Caramel Baby & Child 3. Floral pleated dress, Liberty London 4. Cashmere trousers, Liberty London 5. Tiger print T-shirt, Stella McCartney Kids 6. Bahar houndtooth trousers, Gold 7. Polle dot print sunhat, Gold 8. Willows garden print swimsuit, Liberty London 9. Appledor knitted cardigan, Caramel Baby & Child 10. Chive print trousers, Liberty London.
With the glorious sunshine we’ve had in London this week, it’s got us thinking about spending more time outdoors. But why waste time sunbathing when you could be out doing something more productive? There’s no finer time than summer to don some pretty gardening tools and plant up the flower beds, pots and window gardens that surround you.
1st May marks the start of a very special gardening event. Guerrilla gardeners all over the world join in planting seeds in neglected, overlooked areas of their native cities, in the hope that come August they’ll have bloomed into a colourful floral array. Why not join in the fun and arm yourself with some organic ammo from our new Outdoor Living department on the 4th floor. A one-stop destination for all your outdoor needs, it’s the perfect place to invest in fun gardening equipment: from rustic pots to printed trowels, stylish furniture to colourful garden dining accessories and ready-to-plant seed packs.
Today’s guest blogger is Guerrilla Gardener and planting crusader, Richard Reynolds – the man behind the inspirational blog GuerrillaGardening.org. He explains what it means to be a rebel gardener in an urban landscape and how you can join in their growing campaign.
“It’s a hot August afternoon. You’re still in the city. But at this moment your head is somewhere much further south, a sniff away from the Med, with the wind in your hair as you cycle past fields of sunflowers. And then it hits you; right in the middle of the pavement is a huge clump of sunflowers. Where gravel, grot or at best a dandelion would usually grow, you spot sunflowers towering high and thriving in the street. That’ll be another successful hit from a guerrilla gardener. A seed sown in Spring, discreetly, illicitly in a public place that has now flourished.
Last year was a golden season with clumps thriving in London at Denmark Hill, Old Street roundabout, Hogarth roundabout, Elephant and Castle and Lambeth North. As chief enthusiast, cheerleader and commandant, I write my blog, GuerrillaGardening.org, to rally other keen gardeners to get them outside and beyond their usual urban boundaries, sowing plant life in the very streets they live on. The time is now.
1st May is International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day. This annual event of optimistic seed sowing is celebrated with one of the prints included this season’s Liberty Art Fabrics Guerrilla Gardening collection. “May Rose” is a floral pattern, not of roses but of abstractly hand drawn sunflowers and named after the glorious blooms that rise from the ground because of the organisation’s seed sowing on this date.
The troops are in preparation. Over 1,000 have signed up to our Facebook event so far, committing to popping out at some point to plant somewhere beyond their garden fences and balcony ledges. You can feel the momentum building every day online as the day approaches. People are reaching out to find partners-in-crime (yes, technically it’s criminal damage, though trouble is of course rare). Seeds are being despatched – I despatched 2kg to Gabeau in Paris yesterday and a Fresno guerrilla tweeted me an image of his emergent seedlings. The Guerrilla Gardening HQ has a lot of free sunflower seeds available for the event on 1st May. If you’d like to plant some of your own please send a stamped address envelope to Richard Reynolds, 76 Perronet House, Princess Street, London, SE1 6JS and I’ll post you some.
On the big day itself, my wife, Lyla and I will be busy sowing in Italy, starting at Praiano on the Amalfi Coast and finishing in Rome. We encourage gardening fans everywhere to join in wherever you are. Perhaps take inspiration from another seasonal Liberty Art Fabric; “Richard and Lyla” shows two towering sunflowers in a central London landscape with my wife and I attending to our guerrilla gardens. The print shows a psychedelic vision of London that is not so far from reality, especially if you join us in planting it with colour. This August, as you cycle through the city, it’s there you’ll want to be rather than anywhere else.”