Yorkshire company develops Liberty loungewear

Yorkshire-based design house Smith & Downes has developed a luxury loungewear collection made using fabrics supplied by British heritage brand Liberty.

The company, which operates from a studio in Buttercrambe, York, launched the Liberty Kimono last year and has since expanded the range to include knickers, boxer shorts, camisoles, slips and pyjama bottoms.

The new range was initially launched at smithanddownes.co.uk before being introduced to buyers at Moda earlier this month.

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Smith & Downes was launched in 2013 by designers Marie Neal-Smith and Rebecca O’Leary.

The pair began to produce made-to-measure wedding dresses and occasional wear, before producing kimono wraps as part of their bridal package.

“It soon became apparent that there was a need for this kind of product,” said Neal-Smith. “Brides bought for [kimonos] for their wedding photography, as presents for their bridesmaids and as beach cover-ups for their honeymoon.”

In February 2014, Smith & Downes met with Liberty at Première Vision Paris and agreed to develop the Liberty Kimono using 100% cotton lawn.

“Producing our garments in Liberty fabrics was a decision we took as we felt it fitted comfortably with where we saw this product going,” Neal-Smith told Lingerie Insight.

“We believe wholeheartedly in the growth of British heritage brands, of which Liberty is one, and we support and believe in the potential of the made-in-Britain campaign that is gathering momentum in the UK. Liberty fit the bill for us.”




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