There are few department stores in the world that can compete with the ambience of Liberty in the West End of London.
I admire how well maintained the store is. The house traditions and the history is there and something to be proud of, yet Liberty is also deliberately very now. They take in niche cosmetics brands and are brave enough to leave out the money machines, the ones you find on the ground floor of every department store of the world.
With a vision of an eastern bazaar and focus on fabrics, ornaments and art objects, the store was established by Arthur Liberty in 1875. Within a decade, Liberty introduced in-house apparel and print fabrics they are still known for, you know the floral and graphic ones.
The distinct building on Great Marlborough Street was completed in 1924. The store was designed around three light wells, each surrounded by smaller rooms to create a homely feel.
Even today, the well-curated selection of fashion, cosmetics, jewelry, accessories, homeware, stationery and gifts is a pleasure to browse, the wood interior and flooring doing wonders to the acoustics and atmosphere of the space.
No matter how fine the individual objects are, the biggest luxury at Liberty’s is the selection. It is limited and well thought-of. Each brand and item feels meant – and therefore sometimes even more precious in the context of this particular store than some place else.
London W1B 5AH