Mollie Makes meets Liberty Print Designer Keighley Shepherdly

What’s it like to work for Liberty? Keighley Shepherdly lets us in on how the design team create the iconic British label’s fabrics

The name Liberty Art Fabrics has been synonymous with beautiful, cutting-edge design ever since Arthur Lasenby Liberty first opened doors on Regent Street almost 140 years ago. Liberty’s in-house design team continue to create fresh collections that pay tribute to the brands’ heritage, making use of its 40,000-strong print archive and working on exciting collaborations.

With such a rich history, we couldn’t wait to sit down with designer Keighley Shepherdly and find out all about life at this world-renowned design institution.

Mollie Makes Libery London interview

Mollie Makes Liberty London interview

Your job at Liberty sounds amazing – how did you land it?
I did a sandwich course at Central St Martins, studying fashion print with a year in industry. I won a design competition run by Liberty, which led me to intern there during my third year. It was only supposed to be for a few months but I ended up staying for the whole year. When I left I was offered a permanent job after finishing my degree.

Did you always want to work in print design when you were young?
I was always creative and I did Art and Textiles A-levels. I actually found a drawing I did when I was little recently – it was of a dress with a pattern on it, and the words ‘I want to be a designer.’ I also used to sew with a child’s sewing machine.

How does the creative process work at Liberty?
We have a core team of six designers, including Emma Mawston, the Head of Design. Every six months Emma will reveal the next season’s brief to us, which is then broken up into sub-briefs for us to work on individually. By the time the new briefs come around we’re so excited and can’t wait to get started on something new. She gathers us together and gives us the briefs in Liberty-print envelopes.

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