Liberty of London and Uniqlo: An unexpected marriage

May 29 2016

Liberty has been engaging in some interesting collaborations with other brands in the past few years as part of a shrewd deployment of their brand positioning. Liberty is one of the brands that I study on a regular basis, as they consistently undertake projects that underscore their perfect fusion of deep heritage and extraordinary forward-looking sensibilities.


Nike Liberty

For those of you who don’t know this amazing brand, here is a bit of history. Founded in 1875 (before Selfridges, you Masterpiece watchers), they acquired a print works in 1904 that specialized in block-printed silks. The fabric and sewing area of Liberty’s is still an important part of the retail brand, with Liberty prints from the archive regularly reintroduced to complement new print designs. They have collaborated with young, fun brands like Dr. Maartens, Supreme and the North Face, as well as MAC cosmetics, Nike, and now Uniqlo. It’s an incredibly smart way of creating entry level price points, making the brand available and relevant to consumers who never think of going into the store or shopping on their site, finding the great majority of what’s on offer to be too expensive or exclusive. It’s also a clever way of bringing making prints interesting to the general public and younger fashionistas, who tend to wear a neutral palette. The Uniqlo customer has been accustomed to Jil Sander, not Liberty, the designer who has been one of the queens of a sleek, restrained palette.

Way to go, Liberty! I’m looking forward sporting to my vivid Uniqlo T-shirt this summer!


Uniqlo Liberty

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