In 1875, Arthur Lasenby Liberty borrowed £2,000 from his future Father in Law and took over half of 218a Regent Street with three dedicated staff. Devoted to his vision of an Eastern Bazaar and determined to change the look of homeware and fashion, Arthur Liberty’s collection of ornaments, fabric and objets d’art proved irresistible to a society intoxicated by Japan and the East.
Within eighteen months the loan was repaid, the second half of 218a Regent Street was bought and neighbouring properties were added to house the ever-increasing demand for carpets and furniture.
“Liberty is the chosen resort of the artistic shopper.”
By 1884, Arthur Liberty was working with Costume Society founder Edward William Godwin creating in-house apparel to challenge the fashions of Paris. As a Royal Warrant holder dedicated to quality, Liberty also forged strong relationships with many British designers, most famously the protagonists of the Art Nouveau movement.
These are traditions that continue today in the store’s commitment to inspirational, impeccably made goods and services. Celebrate Arthur Liberty’s legacy in our in-house collections of scarves, accessories and fabrics, and the finest designer fashion and homeware from all over the world.
“I just love Liberty; I love the history and the whole experience, it’s a one stop shop.”
The Store: Our magnificent mock-Tudor building on Great Marlborough Street was built in 1924 so trading could continue while renovations were being completed at the other Liberty premises. Designed by Edwin T. Hall and his son Edwin S. Hall, the iconic store was constructed from the timbers of two ships: HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan. The frontage at Great Marlborough Street is the same length as the Hindustan.
“If I were locked in one Liberty department for a day, it would be Designer Vintage; I'd go and root around and try everything on.”
Designed at the height of the 1920s fashion for Tudor revival, the shop was engineered around three light wells. Each of these wells was surrounded by smaller rooms to create a homely feel, and many of the rooms had fireplaces - some of which still exist today - in order to create the feeling of being in your own home. Sadly, Arthur Liberty died in 1917, seven years before the completion of his shops.