Five Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Liberty London
In honour of the Liberty Cromer, our collaboration with Liberty London, we’ve compiled five of our favourite facts about the star of London’s department store scene.
1. Founder Arthur Liberty dreamt of offering luxury goods, furnishings, and fabrics from faraway places, almost as if a trading ship had docked in the streets of central London. Which is why, when the Great Marlborough Street store was built in 1924, its floors where constructed from 24,000 cubic feet of ship’s timber from the HMS Impregnable and the HMS Hindustan. The store’s frontage is even the same length as the Hindustan, from prow to stern.
2. Arthur Liberty set up a workshop to create the intricately carved pillars and panels that now sit throughout the store. He picked Archway, in North London, for his workshop - mere miles from where Cubitts’ optical workshop now resides.
3. While Liberty first became famous for importing and selling fabrics from the Far East, they have been making their own Liberty prints since the 1920s. They still release 120 designs a year, and have over 43,000 Liberty prints in their Hayford archive.
4. The store was designed to feel like a house, with fireplaces in every room. It now plays home to the longest chandelier in Europe, which is suspended over the central atrium. According to the team at Liberty, it’s best observed from the ground floor up, or from the fourth floor down. A handy tip for those looking for the perfect Liberty Instagram.
5. High above the store’s Kingly Street entrance sits a clock inscribed with the phrase, ‘No minute gone comes back again, take heed and see ye do nothing in van.’ Sage advice if ever we heard it, and where better to while away the minutes (and hours, and days) but inside Liberty’s hallowed halls?
The limited edition Liberty Cromer is available exclusively online here, in Cubitts Fitzrovia, and at Liberty London, in the aforementioned Great Marlborough Street store. Only 80 exist, so make haste.