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Deborah Nero-Adeoye, Brand Specialist at Liberty

Meet Deborah Nero-Adeoye, Brand Specialist

As part of our new series, we sat down with the womenswear specialist to find out her proudest achievements, her dreams for the future and the Black pioneers she believes everyone should know
By: Team Liberty

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Meet Deborah Nero-Adeoye, Brand Specialist

Meet Deborah Nero-Adeoye, Brand Specialist

As part of our new series, we sat down with the womenswear specialist to find out her proudest achievements, her dreams for the future and the Black pioneers she believes everyone should know

By: Team Liberty

Since its inception, Black History Month has provided an annual opportunity to honour the contributions of Black people to society and culture, both here in the UK and further afield. This year, we hope to celebrate exactly that, just on somewhat of a more local scale – right here at Liberty. Join us as we shine a spotlight on just some of the Black talent leading a new generation of Liberty’s artistic movement.

How Has Your Career Path Led You to Liberty?

I am the brand specialist in the womenswear department for Liberty. My career path has been an eclectic one, through many twists and turns including being in the construction industry. I’ve always had a passion for creativity and as such, joining Liberty was my opportunity to be in an iconic powerhouse of flair and dynamism and to feed my creative desire in furthering my aspirations.

What Motivates You?

I love the fact that no two days are the same and whilst that is a cliche, it’s true. I have the pleasure of meeting a variety of people from all walks in life and at all stages, from those who shopped here as children several decades ago and are now in their 80s to younger families introducing their children to the vibrant, unapologetic colour clashes throughout the store. I enjoy hearing their stories or comments as they touch fabrics or gasp in delight at seeing their first reactions to our Liberty fashion and prints. It’s a truly amazing ‘fly on the wall’ moment observing everything and I never tire of being a witness. Additionally, I am able to share some styling techniques, gift ideas and reassuring customers on the relevant item, size and style that is perfect for them.

Being part of Liberty’s first ever Equality Movement Group is just one of many. I was obviously delighted with my new role but as part of EMG this has taken my personal Liberty experience to another level. Here as a group we are able to elevate, educate and inspire our colleagues through our talks, meetings and monthly newsletters. I would like to think we are fairly quickly and quietly putting the spotlight on issues outside of Liberty which in turn creates opportunity for reflection, consideration, and constructive conversations around all things related to Equality, Racism, Diversity, Culture and Justice. We can learn together in this safe, focussed group and consider how best to highlight areas for increased knowledge and awareness.

When Are You at Your Most Creative?

I find inspiration from anything and everything around me. Outside of my 9-5, I paint, sew, knit, crochet, and work on various creative projects and workshops. I also champion other Black British creatives/designers with my own Liberty fabric pieces.

Currently, I volunteer my time with a group in South London, called The Craft Cafe. Here I am a guest workshop facilitator working with retired or semi- retired in the local community. It’s my way of “giving back”, sharing my skills and enjoying conversations. I just love seeing them utilise their own creativity and it is a reminder that you’re not too old; many of them may have been seamstresses in their younger years or making clothes from scratch for their families. It’s a special moment for me to be part of their creative journey and I treasure my time with them dearly.

What Advice Do You Have for Others Interested in Your Industry?

– Follow your passion
– Work on and enjoy your talents regularly
– Put your talents into action (even as a side hustle; ‘dip your toe in’ and get feedback)
– Research as much as possible into the career of your dreams
– Speak to others who are in this industry (network)
– Volunteer! (But with your own clear terms and requirements)
– Stay positive and believe in yourself and your talents

What’s Your Dream for the Future, Either at Liberty or Beyond?

My dream is to excel at all the things I’m passionate about, both within and out of Liberty. To always be ‘present’ when tackling a job or task and bring my authentic self to everything I do. This may be the best way to break the so-called ‘glass ceilings’ in life.

What Does Black History Month Mean to You?

Black History Month is a time to promote and celebrate Caribbean and African culture, as well as letting others see the unique richness and contributions made by us. Black History is British history and just like the rich tapestry that Liberty has embedded in society, so to has African and Caribbean culture influenced every part of mainstream society for many hundreds of years. There is no re-writing history required; it’s about giving honest accounts and embracing the full extent of contributions made. In so doing we will all have a better understanding of the world as a whole and how we are interconnected, interwoven and stronger and more creative together.

As a Black British woman I still spend time attending as many workshops, lectures and events as physically possible – I am also learning more. Over the years the notion of BHM is changing in line with the greater diversity within the UK and mainstream leaders appreciating the power of the Black pound. Our money also talks and we are being included ‘slightly’ more. The negative connotations of BHM of yesteryear are slowly changing, but we have a long way to go. Nevertheless I appreciate and applaud all sectors thus far in making the changes required to see us and understand that Black History is British History – we are inextricably linked and should be part of every month and everyday acknowledgements until fully embedded.

Name One Black Pioneer You’d Like to Shine a Spotlight on

To be honest, I have no one individual – I have a list which will fill an encyclopaedia! But in no particular order…


I love the fact that she was not only the first African American First Lady to Barack Obama but in her own right she had her own career path to champion other women worldwide to be uniquely you no matter what obstacles are thrown your way.


And other Black mothers like her, who came to the UK in the 50s/60s/70s to support the rebuilding of Britain and to make a better life for themselves and their families. They came with a dream to assist the UK and make a difference, to aspire to greater experiences and to inspire others to achieve great things. I would like to think as this generation are now in their senior years that we can truly embrace them, that we acknowledge their hardship and their triumphs.


Yes, TheKarenArthur, and founder and host of Menopause Whilst Black. She’s also a creative, flamboyant powerhouse of a woman. She is just one of many women I would consult on Menopause here in the UK. She is a Black woman sharing her menopause story with grace, fashion, and a fire of energy and I’m all for gaining knowledge.


(1924-April 2001) Educator, novelist, and the first Black head teacher in London. I’ve just discovered this lady, and just the little I know of her, she warms my heart and soul.


British Activist and Politician. This woman has shown me in her lifetime how to be patient and dignified, all with grace. I applaud her for all her work behind the reforms of the UK police service as well as keeping the spotlight on her son, Stephen Lawrence.


Both for their own contributions to The Notting Hill Carnival, renowned as one of the world's largest street festivals, which this year had over two million visitors.


UK based fashion designer. Let’s just say this lady right here needs to be showcased in Liberty. She is on point for her concepts from fabrication to end results. Her future is bright!

For further Black British icons check out the book 100 Great Black Britons. You’ll get to know so many more incredible Brits that will make your heart soar with pride.

*Views expressed are the participant’s own

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