Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
HomeFashionLibertine x Le Sportsac Collection Debuts in Time for New York Fashion...

Libertine x Le Sportsac Collection Debuts in Time for New York Fashion Week

Anyone missing the days of more-is-more maximalism should look to Los Angeles luxury brand Libertine, whose designer has been doing it for 22 years.

Designer Johnson Hartig’s hand-embroidered, glass-covered confections can cost $4,000 and up, but he just introduced a more affordable version of Libertine with Le Sportsac.

The Libertine x Le Sportsac collection is now available exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman and will launch at Neiman Marcus and ILoveLibertine.com on March 1. There will be more releases throughout the year and will include bags, backpacks, totes and weekend bags with surreal eye prints. , geometric patterns, with crystal fringes and more, between $90 and $400. Le Sportsac will also be part of the fall show on Friday.

Libertine’s business expanded 38 percent year over year in 2023.

“The pandemic was a real emotional and creative recharge,” Hartig said during a recent visit to his Los Angeles studio.

“We’ve upped the game,” he said of the brand, which is a favorite of collectors including Danielle Steel, Linda Fargo and a California casino industry executive he doesn’t want to name who owns at least 60 coats.

Last year, Hartig hired a VIP client specialist who brought 18 years of experience at Hermès, Chanel and Dior, and helped create events for clients in The Hamptons, Dallas and Houston.

“We have a loyal clientele,” said Hartig, who wholesales at Maxfield, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. At the San Francisco Neiman’s, Libertine is the second biggest seller behind Brunello Cucinelli—two very different styles, to be sure.

“The fact that Gucci was so close to our aesthetic for so long took away a lot of our impact, especially globally, because people knew Gucci but not us. That was tough,” he said. “Now we’re the only ones doing it.”

Libertine x LeSportsac

For fall 2024, Hartig created photorealistic prints of the view of the night landing at LAX and continued his tradition of using text, extracting a poem by Lord Byron called “The Darkness” into custom-made pieces. His crafty tendencies are on full display in a jacket completely covered in colorful oversized buttons, inspired by the bibs and bobs of the 1920s Memory Jars, which he displays in his Hancock Park home and which has appeared on the cover of World of Interiors.

Le Sportsac bags use the same prints and similar details.

Hartig is also working on his fourth and fifth collection of wallpapers and home fabrics for Schumacher. “They originally approached me because they loved some of the prints in the collection, so it was funk,” she said.

Libertine x Le Sportsac Collection Debuts in Time for New York Fashion Week

Libertine x LeSportsac

Although he will always be considered a fashion outlier (after all, he started out very punk rock, screen-printed vintage clothing), he hopes to grow Libertine enough to soon attract the interest of investors or buyers.

“We have a formula like no other in the business,” said Hartig, whose clothing is made in the U.S. “No one has six people hand-setting glass… But we’re confident we’re getting close to a number that will be attractive for the people”.

Libertine x Le Sportsac Collection Debuts in Time for New York Fashion Week

Libertine x LeSportsac

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