When Libertine returns to New York Fashion Week after a two-year hiatus, audiences will notice a significant volte-face. For starters, designer Johnson Hartig taking a solo bow.
He and Libertine co-founder Cindy Greene first made waves with their screen-printed vintage clothes when the Los Angeles-based label launched in 2001. They were named finalists in the 2004 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, and, along the way, found a serious fan in Karl Lagerfeld, who reportedly owned 19 Libertine jackets. But in 2009, the pair split. “We were growing in different directions,” says Hartig. “Cindy wanted to close the company down altogether — she was interested in doing other things — but I wanted to continue.”
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