For Ed Burstell, the managing director of Liberty, there’s one aim; world domination. After moving from Bergdorf Goodman in 2008, Burstell has strived to give Liberty the success and recognition it deserves. “It’s such a great name in retail” he states of his $48 million empire, comparing the eclectic boutique to a “jewel box of discovery”, and “the last emporium of its kind left on earth”.
Burstell has done wonders for Liberty already, instigating collaborations with Merci, in Paris, Target, in America, and even bringing Manolo Blahnik in to design a range of shoes, scarves, candles and notepads, all of which are available exclusively in Liberty stores. “It’s actually rather historic in the UK” says Burstell of the venture, “It’s the first time Manolo Blahnik has been available here outside his own store”.
These collaborations have been just one of the many sales techniques Burstell brought from the US to confirm Liberty as one of the world’s retail giants. Last week Burstell launched the ‘Shoe Weekend’; a series of events including personal appearances by Nicholas Kirkwood, Rupert Sanderson and Raphael Young. To further draw attention to the store, he will soon star in a new seven-part BBC reality series called “The Buying Game,” set to debut in the New Year.