When I swung by the Ace Hotel's Pop-Up Showroom yesterday, a line of menswear by a young lady named Juhea Kim really blew me away. She launched LIBER New York a mere six months ago, but she's already perfectly defined her customer, and created the ideal wardrobe for any bohemian, fashion forward male. Largely influenced by Americana, LIBER draws inspiration from songwriters and folk-rockers like Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, who have a "legendary, timeless swagger." When Kim didn't see anyone else making avant-garde clothes that exemplified this kind of man, the Princeton graduate decided that she would create them herself.
One of the aspects that I found most impressive about the line is its commitment to authenticity -- all of LIBER's clothing is manufactured locally in New York's Garment District, as opposed to buying pieces wholesale or outsourcing them to another country. Kim says that it costs nearly $30 to cut and sew each of the line's t-shirts, but she still insists on selling them to her customers for a reasonable price -- under $60. The quality is apparent in her raw-edged t-shirts, and while they're lightweight and incredibly soft, they feel durable instead of fragile. Her collection of easy tees, blazers, cardigans and pleated pants and shorts draws its charm not only from its effortlessness, but also from its attention to details, like patch pockets, neck ties and draped hoods.
Click through the gallery for some looks from the line's fall collection, which is currently sold at NOS Boutique in Brooklyn. So, ladies and gents, if you're looking for a romantic gift for your boyfriend, I highly recommend a piece from LIBER. Trust me -- you'll waste no time stealing it from his closet so that you can wear it yourself.
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