Why is Liberty of London So Collaboration Crazy?

Liberty of London is wild about collaborations. In 2009, the famous textile merchant partnered with Nike, APC and Hermes, amongst others. And this y
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Liberty of London is wild about collaborations. In 2009, the famous textile merchant partnered with Nike, APC and Hermes, amongst others. And this y
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Liberty of London is wild about collaborations.

In 2009, the famous textile merchant partnered with Nike, APC and Hermes, amongst others.

And this year, we've already told you about Liberty of London's partnerships with Nicholas Kirkwood and Target for Spring 2010. They've also done a makeup collection with MAC and now, a range with Milan concept boutique 10 Corso Como. The collection features the retailer's iconic 'Ianthe' print as reinterpreted by artist Kris Ruhs.

We know that collabs are the "thing to do" right now. But why the gargantuan push into other markets?

Liberty is known for floral woven textiles, which easily lend to a collaboration. Many companies use Liberty floral prints but don't advertise it as a partnership (i.e. Steven Alan last spring, Cacharel.) However, putting the iconic label next to your own brand makes an item suddenly special, even commemorative. Simply put, it's a great selling point.

The retail sales aren't so hot. Liberty--the department store--has had a tough time during the recession, and other retail attempts have faltered completely. A store in London's Sloan Square dedicated solely to Liberty-printed items shuttered in 2009 after conducting business for less than a year.

We wonder, does the news that the brand's creative director Tamara Salman has quit mean a new direction for Liberty of London--the brand--in 2010? Maybe less collaborations, and more of a focus on actually selling stuff?