was inspired to start his own With a small loan and a staff of three, Liberty opened his first store in 1875 at 218a Regent Street. Influenced by what he had seen at the 1862 International Exposition in London, Liberty’s store sold ornaments, fabric and objects d’art from Japan and the East.
The shop was a huge success and within a decade’s time, Liberty purchased the remainder of 218 Regent Street as well as a number of additional properties on the block.
Soon, the growing store was the place to shop for anybody who was anyone in London society. Liberty’s had an “Eastern Bazaar” in the basement, which offered fine home furnishings and carpet, and other departments upstairs. In 1884, Liberty opened his first “costume department”, an apparel division that would soon rival the fashion houses of Paris.
Arthur Liberty also developed important relationships with top English designers, many who were key figures in the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements. So influential was the British store that the Art Nouveau movement in Italy became known as “Stile Liberty”.
Truly, Liberty’s is one of the most aesthetically pleasing stores in London and a delightful place to shop or just “window” shop. At Christmastime, wandering through the store is a true holiday treat, as thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights adorn the ceilings, creating a sparkling holiday wonderland.