An indie menswear label LIBER New York banishes exclusivity from avant-garde fashion, embracing e-commerce and social media. The label was founded in early 2010 by Juhea Kim. After graduating from Princeton University, Kim worked for luxury womenswear designer Devi Kroell and contemporary designer Adam Lippes of ADAM before launching her own men’s line.
LIBER New York is a men’s contemporary RTW label with a distinctly forward, effortless, and poetic sensibility. All LIBER pieces are designed and produced in New York City, reflecting their core values of authenticity and humanity.
It is easy to see how mass-market retail companies have quickly adapted to the web, creating online stores and directly reaching out to consumers. High-end fashion houses, however, have recognized the importance of the web without figuring out how to utilize it.
In contrast to such venerable labels, a new generation menswear label, LIBER New York is embracing the web and choosing to engage, rather than mystify, their customers. Unlike those of its competitors in ready-to-wear fashion, LIBER New York’s online store is not only easy to navigate, but also contains links to its content-rich blog, Facebook, Twitter, and even its own TV channel on Youtube – all of which are designed to lead traffic back to the online store.
“LIBER is the first RTW label to commit itself to the crucial shift in retail paradigm–that online retail is growing faster than retail as a whole,” says Juhea Kim, CEO and Creative Director of LIBER New York. “I saw an opportunity in that shift, and how it changed the shopping behavior of men in particular. It’s no secret that men like technology, but no one has really recognized how much modern men love great clothes. Men do not dislike style, only the inconvenience of real-life shopping.”
High-end fashion labels have long insisted on maintaining the air of exclusivity, which translated as user-unfriendly Flash, little to no products for purchase, and no interactive content. Following a standard set by the most established labels, indie designers lost many potential customers frustrated by their online experience. If direct engagement of consumers has been thus far a mass-market strategy, Juhea Kim has no worries that it will tarnish LIBER’s reputation: “Our clothes are evocative and beautifully made, and they speak for themselves. It is time for great fashion to be accessible.”