HEAR THEM ROAR: Liberty is taking the spirit of International Women’s Day and stretching it across the month of March with a series of activities and projects highlighting female achievers of past and present, and the British suffragettes.
On Thursday, the store unveiled giant portraits shot by Mary McCartney of designers Anya Hindmarch, Katharine Hamnett and Stella Jean; the author Elise Valmorbida; singer Florence Welch; hair-care entrepreneur Loretta De Feo, and Katy Emck, founder of Fine Cell Work, which promotes needlework made by prisoners.
The portraits are featured in the windows of the London store alongside an image of gal-dem, a print and online magazine and creative collective that aims to empower and support creative work among young women of color.
During the month, Liberty will also host talks with women of influence, and sessions with beauty experts and female brand founders who have links with the retailer.
The store has also reinstated Emma Blackmore’s portrait on the shop floor. Blackmore, an accomplished photographer, was Arthur Liberty’s second wife who helped him to bankroll the opening of the Liberty store in 1875.
Liberty has a particular connection to creative and entrepreneurial women, especially in this 100th anniversary year of them winning the right to vote in Britain. Suffragettes used to meet at the store — department stores were the only places women could gather, unchaperoned — to plan their protests, plot their campaigns and sell soaps, sashes and pins to support their mission.