Conversation with: Andrea Lieberman of A.L.C.
December 31, 2013
Andrea Lieberman of A.L.C. has a very real, personable way of talking to her customers, almost like she has known them for a long time, regardless if they are Cameron Diaz or the girl who just stepped into Cusp on the hunt for a workday/date-night outfit. Lieberman’s effortless approach to people is also a consequence of her work as a stylist and her understanding of what all women look for when they get dressed – to be the best they can be.
During her visit to NM Dallas-NorthPark Lieberman stopped a passing CUSP customer wearing one of her one of her favorite pieces ever — an open worked sweater from a past collection – because she wanted to say hello and hear the customer’s thoughts. It was also interesting to see how the designer notices a dress of hers worn by another customer with completely new eyes. “You look gorgeous, I need to get that dress,” says Lieberman. The creative process doesn’t ever stop.
A.L.C.’s collection ranges from day-to-night looks like silk track pants, leather moto jackets and the always-flattering knitwear dresses and skirts, and über-cool sweaters continue to appear in black-and-white as well as animal-print patterns for Holiday and Resort. Lieberman is also becoming an expert in specialty leather pieces, using leopard calf leather on jacket fronts or designing a rock star-worthy silver studded black jacket, a no-brainer for cool urban girls from Los Angeles to New York.
Here’s a little chat I had with Andrea about her design work, whose sophistication is always in line with her ideas of what is modern and fits well.
NM: How does being a stylist help you in your work as a designer?
AL: It helps me, because I’m used to dressing women. Being a stylist I understand that there’s an emotional connection to getting dressed, and I understand that women need to feel good. In order to look good, they need to feel good, and they need to feel good about themselves. And they need to feel like they are themselves. I understand all the balance issues that we face when we get dressed, whether it is to match the top with the bottom, silhouettes that work, figure flattering clothes…
NM: What is a staple piece that every girl your have in their closet?
AL: Definitely a leather jacket, a moto jacket. For me, it’s the studded version.
NM:How many leather jackets do you have in yours?
AL: Let’s just say, my next house should have an entire closet dedicated to my leather jackets!
NM: I know that you have a lot of experience dressing women, but how did it felt to be at the floor of CUSP helping more than one customer at a time? What was the most exciting part of that day?
AL: I spend months designing a collection and focus on so many minute details to make sure the fit and proportions are just right. So when I finally get the chance to work with my customer, I’m reminded that the smallest details make all the difference. Those singular experiences solidify my passion to be a designer.
NM: What would you say is your favorite A.L.C. staple piece? What’s your favorite fabric to work with?
AL: Apart from a leather jacket, the rayon knits have become a true A.L.C. staple. I have been working with the technique for a while now and it is always interesting for me to push the envelope and experiment with different applications. This season we created a leopard jacquard using the rayon, which is really beautiful.
NM: What’s the first thing you think when you start creating a collection?
AL: I’ve been fortunate enough to travel all over the world, and now that I’m settled down in Los Angeles with my family, each collection begins with, “Where is the A.L.C. girl this season?” Is she in New York? Did she just get back from Africa? Is she backpacking through South America? A.L.C. is all about a state of mind and a change of scenery can certainly shift a person’s perspective and thus, their style.