Many people outside of England’s capital will recognize Liberty’s signature prints through their ongoing collaborations with some of the world’s biggest and most respected brands like Supreme, The North Face, and Nike. What many people don’t know though is that the company with the bold name has been around for over a century and is widely regarded as an authority in the fields of prints and patterns. It’s no wonder then that a diverse range of brands are eager to collaborate with the English company as often as they can. Before presenting our list of the 10 best Liberty collaborations of the last decade, however, it’s worth a quick look back on the historic brand.
Founded in 1875 on London’s Regent Street, the company’s founder, Arthur Liberty, imported Mylore silk from India before dying and hand-printing the exotic fabric with wooden blocks. In 1904 Liberty took over a print works that specialized in block-printed silks right by William Morris’ works in Merton. A cooperation with Thomas Wardle, a renowned silk dyer, evolved naturally and soon Liberty introduced dyes which until then had been largely limited to the East. These pastel tints became internationally known as “Liberty Colors” and the sight of them hanging from Liberty’s London shop windows became a celebrated addition to Regent Street. Now, new textile collections by both in-house and freelance designers are introduced each year while classic prints from as far back as 1880 are reintroduced to complement the season’s designs. So without further ado here is our list of the company’s best collaborations over the past few years starting with the most recent.
The latest collection was released (and promptly sold out) in collaboration with New York’s Supreme. The two camp caps feature an all-over splatter print reminiscent of Jackson Pollock’s seminal work – a natural addition to the streetwear brand’s SS13 collection. These ones work just as well as a display piece as a daily garment.
The only collaboration on this list still available for purchase, the “Black and White” collaboration with The North Face Purple Label just screams Japanese sportswear takeover. The black and white coloring allows for a more easygoing approach the detailed patterning while signaling your appreciation of current trends.
The good doctor has been on an upward trajectory for the past few years and to celebrate his rediscovered glory he teamed up with fellow countryman Liberty on a collection of floral patterned footwear. Sure the look isn’t for everyone but it’s hard come across a more on-point trend-capturing collection than this one.
Last season was also home to a welcomed collab with Supreme. In this case though the 2 brands opted for a classic floral print and topped it off with a leather brim for that extra sense of luxury. Like most Supreme items they’ve managed to appreciate a bit in value, but they can still be found through resellers at a reasonable price.
Last summer Nike Sportswear got together with Liberty for a “Lotus Jazz” collection consisting of an Air Max 1, Free Run 2, and a LunarGlide 4. The print in combination with the lime green accenting made for a trendy pair that looks just as good today as they did a year ago.
This one went a bit under the radar but those looking to up their accessory game in a bright floral way were pleased with Tokyo Natural Hiking Club’s colorful camera straps. The straps are perfect for adding a bit of detail to what might otherwise be a dull outfit.
I retract what I said about the Air Force 1 Downtowns as these Edwin jeans couldn’t be more subtle in their approach. Hidden in various locations are signature Liberty prints which act more as your own little secret for you to stride around in than as a fashion statement.
Unfortunately the Japanese brand is calling it quits after this season, so the least we can do is bow our heads in admiration for these silk scarves featuring both mastermind’s skull logo and three different Liberty prints. Here’s hoping those behind the brand find success wherever they end up.
Another neighborly collaboration this time featuring a wide range of tops. Some pieces feature subtle patterning tucked away beneath plackets while some are, needless to say, a bit more in your face. As a whole though, the collection works well and caters to fans on both ends of the spectrum.
Yet another collection that certainly isn’t for everyone, the Spring/Summer 2010 collaboration with Trainerspotter delivered a bold take on sports fashion. Despite what the naysayers had to naysay, the collaboration was an immediate success and sold out quickly in both the UK and Japan.
Stay tuned for future collaborations featuring the historic brand and let us know which is your favorite in the comments section below.