Liberty plans global drive with luxury brand boutique chain

Prestigious retailer Liberty is poised to unveil a boutique dedicated to its signature brand Liberty of London, as part of plans to push the company into global markets.

Designed by Universal Design Studio and Liberty of London’s creative director Tamara Salman, the zone is nestled in the heart of Liberty’s landmark London store and marks an important step in the 132-year-old company’s ongoing renaissance.

The lavish project sits in the store’s atrium and is created in a collaboration between Salman and Universal Design Studio designer Damian Mulvihill. It is the result of a rapid expansion of in-house luxury brand Liberty of London, which Liberty plans to use to steer its business into overseas territories. Copies of the first boutique, which opens in London in two weeks’ time, will be established in other countries including the US and Japan, selling clothing and home products.

Salman and Mulvihill say they sought to retain the authenticity of Liberty’s style, while using a range of cutting-edge techniques to ensure a more contemporary feel which will allow the brand to translate to other cultures.

‘Liberty has such a strong identity,’ says Salman. ‘We worked with Universal to find a way to make the boutique look connected to Liberty but without being obvious.’

The design mixes traditional Liberty signatures, such as the classic Ianthe print and Tudor Rose carvings found throughout the building, with contemporary twists including a three-metre high luminescent glass wall, a six-metre long glass service counter, and multi-levelled glass and timber display units. Some features are still in development, such as Universal’s hi-tech Rapid Prototyping Technique, which will allow the consultancy to create 3D versions of classic prints.

‘We wanted to get a more modern look, but still retain a memory of the building,’ explains Mulvihill.

Universal Design Studio director Jonathan Clark adds, ‘Liberty is an icon of the London retail scene. With the huge shifts that have happened with the Liberty of London brand, it really needed a standalone store identity to support its position in the luxury retail market.’

Liberty declined to reveal images of its designs.

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