We chat to Sales Associate and creator of the Cape Drape Omar as his first collection for Liberty hits the shop floor.
If you watched Liberty of London on Channel 4 last November, you’re sure to remember Womenswear Sales Associate Omar. Creator of the Cape Drape, Omar’s talent was spotted during filming of the show, and his collection was quickly snapped up by Managing director Ed Burstell, and Buyer Stephen Ayers.
Here’s how this fledgling designer went from shop floor to stockist and meeting Adele in a mere six months. . .
How did it feel when Ed and Stephen told you they wanted to stock the Cape Drape?
It was so weird – on the day it was filmed the production crew just told me they just wanted to talk about windows, then Stephen and Ed came down. When they told me they were buying the Cape Drape the only three words I could get out of my mouth were oh my god. I was hyperventilating in the corner – it was so surreal. But amazing!
I’m still working on the shop floor, I’m training people on the cape drape in the morning, selling through the day and looking after my own brand. I straighten my rail every five seconds!
How does it feel to have the moment immortalised on TV?
I’ve watched it back once, at that moment in time it didn’t feel real. It was only while I was sewing the garments that it started to sink in, even last week it was so surreal saying the labels are here, or it’s launching tomorrow and I have to put signage out.
Did you come across any challenges in production?
The original Cape Drape was just made as an out-there piece for me, so I needed to bring it to a point where it was more wearable. I had to adapt the original to perfect things like the arm holes, it was just me having a vision and trying to put it across.
My university (LCF) were incredible, they let me use their facilities to produce the collection. I’m really grateful for them! Each Cape Drape is handmade, every little piece!
Do you have any advice for aspiring designers?
I would say stick to your guns, try not to doubt yourself and always strive for the best. If you envision something, make sure what you produce is what you had in mind.
What’s been the highlight so far?
Adele bought the first Cape Drape in the first hour of them being on the shop floor. She was just casually shopping, what are the chances??
What’s next for your label?
I’m looking to go into easy-to-wear dresses, along the same unfussy lines. I like the idea of shift dresses, that kind of thing.
Coming to Liberty.co.uk very soon, the Cape Drape is now available in-store.
Celebrate Nike Air Max Day 26.3.15 with Liberty
Shop Air Max at Liberty and share your favourite pair using #AIRMAX
Introducing our latest design collaboration with global accessories brand Herschel Supply, perfectly combining our floral prints with the brand’s practical elegance in three design-driven women’s backpacks.
The collection features three covetable Herschel Supply silhouettes. The Ware and Hanson, with their clean, cylindrical shapes and cinch closures, and the uniquely styled Dawson, boasting multiple strap detailed compartments with a zippered interior and side-access sleeves. Crafted from lightweight, soft-touch fabrics with slender adjustable straps, the bags are detailed with traditional vegetable tanned leather and polished silver-tone hardware.
Herschel Supply carefully selected prints from the Liberty archive to use for the collaboration. Donna Leigh – inspired by a design from the late 1700s, combining a rich background with contrasting watercolour painted flowers – and Deborah – an Art Nouveau print inspired by an early Merton Abbey Mills pattern book.
Each backpack design comes in two options: a print combination of Donna Leigh Tana Lawn and Deborah Tana Lawn, or solid navy accented with tactile Donna Leigh print cord. Each bag is finished with a custom Liberty woven label.
The Herschel Supply for Liberty collection will be exclusively available in-store and online at liberty.co.uk from Monday 23 March.
Introducing Thierry Lasry’s collaboration with Fendi – exclusive to Liberty for one month.
Thierry Lasry has collaborated with Fendi on an avant-garde-meets-luxury collaboration this spring. The bold yet elegant frames take inspiration from the colourful Fendi archives, along with prints and images from Fendi’s previous campaigns. Featuring bright, geometric patterns inspired by Cubism and Kinetic art, the collection offers a combination of vintage inspiration and experimental design.
Snap up your favourite pair here >
Introducing Rodebjer, exclusively available at Liberty.
Founded in New York in 1999 after native Swede Carin Rodebjer’s designs caught the eye of New York buyers, Rodebjer offers laid-back luxury designed to be lived in. Exclusive to Liberty, Carin’s designs feature feminine tailoring inspired by the landscapes of her tranquil birthplace – Swedish island Gotland – the intensity of her adopted New York and the strength of the women she admires.
Close-up detail and soft draping lend a unique edge to traditional minimalism, while innovative construction allows the garments to be worn in multiple ways. This distinct aesthetic has earned Rodebjer numerous prestigious awards, including Swedish ELLE Designer of the Year. We caught up with designer Carin to talk design inspiration and stylish living, as her collection drops exclusively at Liberty.
We’re excited about Rodebjer launching, could you tell us about your inspiration for this collection?
I’m very excited as well. The inspiration for this collection was to visualize the life of an urban nomad. I wanted something that functioned well in the pulse of the city but at the same time felt relaxed. I wanted something that was very direct and therefore I studied the directness and energy of indigenous art as well as unschooled, yet brilliant, creativity.
– New York is such a unique city; does it influence your work? In what ways does this combine with Swedish fashion?
New York influences my work a lot. The energy, the people in the city, the melting pot of different cultures and styles. I like to bring that intensity into the Swedish sensibility and the Swedish style that used to be quite minimalistic. Therefore I usually say that our expression is rich yet clean. A mix of New York and Sweden.
In what way do powerful and independent women inspire your work?
I have always been inspired by women who take responsibility and lead their own lives. Therefore I want to make versatile design so these women can find their own personality in the collections. I don’t want to dictate too much and I don’t want our design to restrict movement.
Why choose Liberty for the exclusive?
Liberty is such an amazing department store. I like your heritage and I like what you are now. It’s a privilege to see Rodebjer as a part of your offering.
What is your top tip for stylish living?
Make yourself rich of valuable experiences.
What was it like moving multiple times between Stockholm and New York – was it difficult?
This last time was a bit more difficult since I brought a 1-year old child. Finding good daycare and insurances can drive you a bit crazy but it was definitely worth it. I have earned so many amazing experiences out of this.
Have you had a chance to visit Liberty? Do you have a store wish list?
I have been to Liberty but unfortunately not in a while. New York has kind of sucked me into it’s machinery. I haven’t had too much time to spend in Europe but that will definitely change because I miss Europe a lot.
What is your favourite Liberty department?
I love the fabric department – I love all the Liberty fabrics and patterns.
Shop Rodebjer online and in-store now