As a young, fashion-conscious kid with limited funds, I took to making my own clothes at an early age. Being brought up in Liverpool in the north of England, I remember vividly my first trip to London at 12, and my iron-cast mission to go to Liberty of London's famous fabric department! I will never forget the absolute wonder of seeing all those beautiful Liberty prints, amongst silks and wools the quality of which I had never seen before. I spent HOURS in that fabric department and bought a few odd offcuts to take home and sew up. It's one of those magical and influential moments I will never forget. I returned to the Liberty store at every opportunity before I moved to Australia in 1995.
Imagine then, my joy at launching my collaboration with Liberty Fabric many decades later. My 12 year old self would be blown away! So how do these things happen?
Over the years that I've been researching and running The Very Good Bra, I've met Liberty Fabric's resourceful and energetic local head at many industry events. Peter Redding has been with Liberty Fabrics for over 11 years. There is even a Liberty print named after his daughter, which gives an idea of the familial nature of the business, which started in London in 1875. The idea of creating beautiful prints was inspired by founder Arthur Liberty's visit to the Japanese section of the International Exhibition held in London in 1862
"I was determined not to follow existing fashions, but create new ones."
– Arthur Liberty
How fortunate for me that that ethos remains. Peter has been hugely instrumental in steering Liberty Fabrics to more sustainable bases, pivoting to anticipate the needs of big global brands in a shift towards Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton. We talked at many of our accidental industry catch-ups over 18 months about BCI but it didn't feel quite right for my brand. Liberty was making organic cotton in a weave, but not in a knit. Like a dog with a bone, Peter never gave up and last year, he rocked up at my place with Liberty Fabric's first ever organic cotton knit, in my weight, I was beside myself with excitement!
And that was it, I've been finalising the design ever since. This beautiful Liberty Fabric innovation deserved a brand new bra style in my view, and so our new bra with a front V wire, Liberty Paisley, was born. We hoped to launch a little earlier, but Covid-19 put paid to that. Instead we launch to celebrate 2 years since the end of our launch Kickstarter on 18th June 2018.
It's incredibly humbling to work with such an iconic, historic and game-changing fabric brand, particularly given the huge impact it made on me as a child wanting to make clothes. It's even more humbling to read Peter's kind words for my press release:
'Liberty Fabric is proud to work with The Very Good Bra run by Sydney-sider Stephanie Devine. Liberty fabric continues to be associated with the worlds of arts and culture and has built on its founder’s legacy, working with some of the world’s most beautiful brands. Stephanie, with Liberty, seeks out the new and interesting with integrity. We worked with our ethical experts and created our first organic cotton knit, the culmination of an 18 months collaboration with both parties and we are excited to walk this important journey with Stephanie.'
Our Liberty Paisley collection is a limited edition, although we hope to make more collections with different prints if you love this one. We are launching via a crowdfund/pre-sale as ever, to both fund this premium collection, and to minimise production waste across our wide size range. View the range here and our early-bird pricing options. We look forward to your support and we hope you love the product as much as we do.