Liberty brand goes global

Luxury department store Liberty has confirmed that it is to expand its Liberty of London accessories brand internationally under new chief executive Geoffroy de La Bourdonnaye, who was appointed last week.

A spokesman for Liberty confirms that one of the first tasks awaiting de La Bourdonnaye will be to establish the Liberty of London brand in Japan and the US, by positioning it strategically within luxury department stores, or possibly by creating standalone sites.

‘This may involve looking at joint ventures or overseas partners. At this stage nothing is excluded,’ he says. An additional ‘small’ retail outlet in London is also under consideration.

Although the branding and product design for the Liberty of London brand has been handled largely in-house, under creative director Tamara Salman, it is expected that any interior and retail store work will be handed to external consultancies. Universal Design Studio worked on the Regent Street store’s central atrium for the Liberty of London brand last year.

The upmarket department store has also confirmed that it will continue its positioning as ‘nurturer’ of design talent, with its design product bursary award launched last year, and that more design exhibitions on the top floor can be expected throughout 2007. ‘The whole point of Liberty is cutting edge design,’ a spokesman says.

De La Bourdonnaye, who takes up his position on 1 July, replaces Iain Renwick, who left the department store suddenly last month. He aims to build on Renwick’s legacy and transform the department store into a profit-making business.

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