Karel Martens x Liberty

Preview — Mar 28, 2024

Harry Pearce joins his longstanding collaborator and friend for an event at Liberty’s London Store.

Graphic designer Karel Martens introduced his new collection at a special event at Liberty’s London store earlier this week, alongside Liberty’s Managing Director Andrea Petochi, Design Director Liberty Fabrics & Product Mary Ann Dunkley, and Pentagram’s Harry Pearce. 

The evening featured insights into both Karel's new range of fabrics and Harry’s Liberty Letters designs, as well as wider discussions on the nature and responsibility of design in our culture.

A longstanding collaborator and friend of Harry Pearce, Karel was introduced to the Liberty team by Harry, and was then invited to curate a capsule collection of designs for SS24. Playing with scale and layout and with direction from Karel, the Liberty Fabrics designers have transformed his iconic hand-printed monoprints into wearable textiles. 

Working between the Liberty Fabrics London design studio, Karel’s Amsterdam studio and the Italian printing mill, the final designs honour Karel‘s wonderfully rich use of colour and graphic composition in his complex layering printing practice.

Exploring a Dutch Modernist approach, the eclectic range of vibrant geometric prints features Karel’s hand-drawn motifs mixed with digital collages. The fabrics celebrate exciting interpretations of his work and are printed using cutting-edge technology and traditional techniques at the Liberty Fabrics mill near Lake Como.

This follows on from Liberty Letters, an exclusive capsule collection of 21 products including bags, scarves and a range of fabrics, which was the result of a collaboration between Harry and the Liberty fabric design team in 2023 and has nearly sold out in store.

Harry explains: “Karel has been a career-long influence and in the last 10 years a dear friend. His design work still remains as modern, experimental and fresh at 85 as it always has. Setting a high bar, he is often more forward-looking and challenging than designers half his age—a lesson to us all.”

The Karel Martens and Liberty Letters collections are available at Liberty now.

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