Markus Lupfer takes Liberty behind the scenes at his studio to talk us through his new range of exclusive designer scarves.
Renowned for his playful knitwear and jersey pieces, designer Markus Lupfer is a safe bet when it comes to bold, covetable designs. For his latest venture, he has created a collection of exclusive pieces that will sit in the Liberty scarf hall for Autumn/Winter 2014. We asked him to talk us through the collection, and the creative environment that houses his label.
How do you organise your work space? Talk us through your studio.
Our studio has three floors. Our first floor is the development floor where I work with pattern cutters and machinists on the new collections. We have all the fittings there and this is our hands-on creative floor. One floor above is the design area where we design the prints, knitwear, embroideries, fabrics etc. for both womenswear and menswear as well as footwear and eyewear. The next floor up is our business floor where all the logistics and production is organised from.
What’s on your studio walls/current mood board?
We are just finishing our Resort 2015 collection and the mood boards have modern tribal pictures on them.
What are your must-haves when designing?
Good happy music and a packet of wine gums.
What is your favourite part of the design process?
I love the part when fabrics are chosen and the designs are about to take shape. I love working on finishings and making sure that the garment looks expensive and nicely made.
Which one is more important: the process or the product?
To me it’s the product.
Do you have any quotes or mantras that you live your work life by?
Work hard but enjoy what you do.
You are well known for your knitwear and jerseys. How did you find designing scarves; was the process any different to designing womenswear?
I loved designing the scarves for our exclusive project with Liberty! It wasn’t much different than designing other womenswear products.
What was the inspiration behind your Liberty scarves?
The scarves are an extension of our Autumn/Winter 14/15 womenswear collection with which I wanted to do something British, but put my own spin on it. I was drawn to the humour and colour in the photography of Martin Parr, his love of ordinary British people and the attitude that his subjects provide.
How have you stamped your design personality onto this collection of scarves?
I wanted to design scarves with high quality that tell a story and possibly raise a smile or evoke a special positive feeling.
What was your first experience of Liberty?
The very first time I walked into Liberty I was in awe. I was and still am fascinated by the magnificent architecture of the historic building as well as the quality of all the beautifully designed products from all over the world. Liberty is always very inspiring after so many years I still love going to shop there.
Discover the exclusive collection of Markus Lupfer scarves in-store today, and available online soon!
The Dannijo sisters give Liberty a lesson in bohemian jewellery styling and tell us how their eclectic jewellery has grown from strength to strength.
If you haven’t yet heard of Dannijo, you’ll definitely want to familiarise yourself with the jewellery brand this season. Created by Floridian jewellery makers, Danielle and Jodie Snyder, the eclectic line of bohemian, rocker-inspired pieces that wouldn’t look out of place at music festivals such as Coachella and Glastonbury, has been spotted on some of Hollywood’s most revered and infamous names (ahem… Natalie Portman, Beyoncé, Oprah, Rihanna and Black Lively to name just a few).
The girls first used their cardiologist father’s medical tools to make jewellery while at school. Then, reunited in New York after finishing University, they returned to their hobby and created a capsule collection of jewellery pieces for Danielle’s L.W.A.L.A non-profit fundraising initiative to create change in underdeveloped countries. Since it’s inception, Dannijo has a advocated creating sustainable economic opportunity for women, and now all their packaging is made in Rwanda as part of their women’s empowerment initiative.
We caught up with Danielle and Jodie for a lesson in Dannijo jewellery styling first-hand and how they like to spend their time in London whenever they visit.
Describe your jewellery in 3 words:
Statement, powerful and eclectic.
How many pieces jewellery do you wear on a daily basis? Is it your own, or a mix of brands?
We wear our own everyday and mix in Native American Indian jewellery or antique pieces every now and again. We wear anywhere from 2-10 pieces: loads of dainty rings from Fine by Dannijones, a statement necklace or several bracelets and cuffs stacked, and either studs or statement earrings.
Which is your favourite piece from the collection this season?
The Shelton II earrings or the Norgaard necklace because they’re such versatile, bohemian-rocker styles that really finish a look.
What is LWALA and how did it help turn your jewellery making hobby into a business?
Lwala (Live With A Lifelong Ambition) is a non-profit I co-founded in 2007 to help fundraise for grass-roots initiatives in Africa. The organization was named after a village called Lwala in Kenya– we helped fundraise for their first health facility by getting our peers to use their passion and talent (be it in fashion, music, film, or photography) to fundraise and impact change. Our talent was jewellery design and the philanthropic initiative was the impetus for us to start designing jewellery again.
You have a lot of famous followers. How did Dannijo make its big fashion break?
It was a combination of experiences and events that got us to where we are today. The brand has really leveraged social media as a means to connect with our following and establish a powerful presence. Our feature on the Today show very early on was great exposure for the line as well as Beyonce’s support (she bought a necklace our first month in business at Bergdorf Goodman and wore it on tour all over the world).
You’re coming to London for a personal appearance in our Jewellery Hall on 10th July, where are your favourite places to spend your time when in London?
We love shopping at Liberty, vintage shopping at portobello market and having drinks at Claridges and Shoreditch house. We often get lost and wander to new places and eats.
What do we need to know about Dannijo? Are you planning anything exciting for the next season?
The brand is expanding into categories that are natural extensions. Our handbag collection really took off as well as our fine jewellery capsule with Rashida Jones – called Fine by Dannijones – so we’re expanding our fine jewellery presence in addition to new categories altogether.
Come and meet Jodie and Danielle in our brilliant Jewellery hall on Thursday 10th July, 12-3pm and 5-7pm. The first 10 customers to purchase any piece from the autumn/ winter 2014 collection will receive a free Dannijo iPhone cover and luxury goodie bag, including a Le Labo Calone 17 Vintage candle, NARS lipstick in Heatwave, Claire Aude Liberty print wash bag and pocket mirror (in an assortment of colours), and an Essie nail polish in Mademoiselle.
Hat designer Emma Cheape talks to Liberty ahead of the next Open Call event.
The Brim Label designer, Emma Cheape, was discovered at the Liberty Best of British Open Call in January 2014. Since then her unique caps and sun hats have become an essential part of the Liberty hat hall. Here she reveals the hats that have meant the most, her vintage inspirations and how life has changed since seeing her designs stocked in-store.
How has life at The Brim Label changed since the Best of British open call in January?
The main change has been a subtle shift in my own personal view of what The Brim Label is, and perhaps more importantly, the potential for what it might become. The fact that Liberty appreciates the value in what I am creating has been very encouraging and confirms the idea that, despite being small, you can still be mighty!
What did it mean for the label to be stocked in Liberty?
It’s well known that Liberty is a highly respected, prestigious and iconic establishment so of course it has meant so much to me to have my hats stocked in such a store. I’m super proud and grateful that The Brim Label hats are sat amongst many of the best, most esteemed products in the world.
How do you think your design philosophy fits in with Liberty?
When it comes to design I am very passionate about quality, originality and the story, which I believe are also interests that Liberty shares.
Had you been to Liberty before Best of British?
Oh yes, many times. I would often visit when in the area and just wander around admiring all the beautiful things. I’d look around the hat department and think to myself, “The Brim Label would suit being here”!
What was the first hat you ever made?
About two years ago I started playing around with creating a pattern for a hat that I imagined I wanted to take on a beach holiday, but couldn’t find in real life. It was made out of calico. Many more calico trials eventually turned into the style called Arabella which is now sold at Liberty.
What’s the oldest hat you own and how did you find it?
I’ve got an amazing hat and dress combo, both made out of the same fabric that I bought from a vintage country fair when I first moved to the UK three years ago. Having just arrived, and being pretty broke after a few months of travelling on my way over from New Zealand, it wasn’t exactly a vital purchase but I just had to get it anyway. The hat and dress sat around waiting patiently for two years before an appropriate occasion finally arose last year when I got to go to the Royal Enclosure at Ascot. While it may take another few years before it gets its second outing, it’ll be worth the wait!
How do you select fabrics? Is there anything you look for in particular?
I am dedicated to finding and using quality, original fabrics which ideally have a story behind them. For my summer hats I use predominately vintage cottons which have previously been curtains in a past life. For winter, I use luxurious English-made wools and tweeds. I’m drawn to unexpected patterns and colour combinations as well as the feel of a fabric. I always consider the uniqueness of a fabric vs. its ability to be wearable and timeless.
Do you have a favourite style of hat?
I love caps. Especially on a woman, it’s such a great look of confidence with a hint of tomboy style. And despite what some may think, I reckon they look cool at any age.
What do you think the UK in particular has to offer for someone working with vintage fabrics?
I think what the UK has to offer is a big enough audience that is interested in buying products made from vintage fabrics. If a product is made using genuine vintage fabric it is most likely that there will only be a finite amount of the fabric that exists. Therefore, only a certain amount of that product can be made, giving the item exclusivity. The type of person who chooses to buy vintage does so because they want something special – they don’t want the same item that hundreds, if not thousands, of other people will have. Authentic vintage fabrics can help to set a product apart, and in the UK where there is a sea of products that are mass produced and all look the same, I believe there is an increasing desire to own goods that are unique and therefore more meaningful.
As a new Open Call approaches, what does the next year have in store for The Brim Label?
I will be continuing to work on growing my audience and creating more awareness about the brand. I’m currently working on The Brim Label winter range. Lately I’ve been sampling winter caps and other head wear ideas in tartan, tweed, corduroy and leather – hopefully to be seen on the shelves of Liberty in a few months time!