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How I'm Making It: Andrea Lieberman of A.L.C.

When Andrea Lieberman launched A.L.C. in 2009, the fashion world quickly embraced her vision for the modern woman's wardrobe. But long before Bergdorfs and Barneys started stocking her designs, Leiberman was already an established industry player. The Parsons graduate actually started in retail with her own NYC boutique Culture and Reality, which sold bits 'n pieces inspired by her extensive travels. Eventually Lieberman's discerning eye led her into the world of styling, where she skyrocketed to fame working with big name clients like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson. In fact, Lieberman was responsible for J.Lo, who was a client of hers at the time, wearing that now-iconic green Versace number to the Grammys. We caught up with Lieberman to learn more about how she seeks inspiration everywhere from Africa to New York and how she built her brand.
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When Andrea Lieberman launched

Where do you draw inspiration when starting a new collection? I try to design pieces that are wearable and classic and that allow the wearer to express herself. The first question I always ask myself as I begin a new collection is ‘would I wear this?' and 'Would the women I know wear this?'

How does being a New York native influence your designs and style? New York is such an inspiring place and I feel very fortunate to have grown up here. I was exposed to so many eclectic people and styles that had a huge influence on me at a very young age and really cultivated my interest in design.

Do you follow the fashion world closely? I try to stay on top of what’s happening in the fashion world as much as I can. I love scrolling through fashion blogs and websites for news and inspiration--it’s definitely a personal indulgence of mine and usually only happens late at night when everyone has gone to bed. How does the jewelry fit into the collections? I’ve actually been designing fine jewelry for years but wanted to create an A.L.C jewelry collection that was an extension of the ready to wear. A lot of my seasonal inspirations are reflected in both my jewelry and my clothing, for example tribal details and subtle bondage elements.

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Tell us about getting involved with the CFDA. The CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund experience made me look at my business in a new way and focus on how I want it to develop. I made some great friends and had the invaluable opportunity to share my vision with many of the people I admire most in this industry. I loved everything about the process and am truly honored to be a part of it. Any exciting plans you can share regarding the label? We have a couple new ventures in the pipeline...I can’t reveal too much yet but keep your eye out!

Photos: Courtesy of Andrea Lieberman