OUAI Crush Andrea Lieberman on How to Start a Business and Raise a Family
Whoever said diamonds are a girl's best friend didn't own a well-fitted, little black number—and no one knows it better than Andrea Lieberman, stylist turned A.L.C. creative director, and mom. Andrea's collections carry over an energy of confidence to the women wearing her pieces, and the New York-born girl boss goes to great lengths to curate that magic moment for her muses. So how does an entrepreneur like her run a booming fashion business and raise a family? Ahead, our crush recalls her journey from stylist to boss, shares advice on how to start your own business, and why LA fuels her inspiration tank.
First things first, tell us about yourself and your journey from stylist to head honcho at ALC.
After years of styling some of the most talented, inspiring women, and traveling the world, I was eager to transition into working on my own label. As a stylist it was always about finding that perfect look that made my girl feel confident and ready to own it. This is the mindset that I brought to my label and what I continue to champion today as Creative Director.
Can you describe the A.L.C. woman?
The attention-grabbing, never seeking, modern woman on-the-go.
What prompted you to make the transition from stylist to brand owner? What void did you see in the industry that led you to start your company?
Having worked with so many women, I understand the emotions behind getting dressed —ultimately, we want to feel confident and powerful, whether we are on stage, at a red carpet or going out to dinner with a group of friends. I wanted to carry this into my designs: at A.L.C., we make clothing that make you look and feel your best no matter the occasion.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in building the brand? Any advice you’d share with someone else starting their own business?
Every day is exciting and every day is a challenge. From that I have gathered a lot of advice...here goes: Go with your gut. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice - you aren’t supposed to know everything or be everything. People are your best asset, have a small crew of people you trust and lean on them. Lastly, if something can go wrong it most likely will. Always look around the corner and be prepared for any situation.
A.L.C. is a true LA brand, what are some of the benefits of running a business locally, from design to production, locally?
It’s funny you say that, while we are very much an LA brand, our design studio is located in NY. I live here now. I am actually a born and raised New Yorker and our showroom is in NY so I have always thought of us as a bi-coastal brand. I like to think of A.LC. as having a NY DNA with an LA ease. The benefit to designing in LA is there is a constant stream of inspiration, from the weather to the surroundings to the amazing resources that come with being located amidst the world of Hollywood.
It seems like a lot of other brands are following suit and coming to LA, what do you think is driving that?
LA is a creative force — there’s an atmosphere of individuality, innovation, and collaboration that’s very enticing. I have always said there is a pioneer spirit that really defines LA. There are a lot of creatives making really interesting things all over the city.
While we’re on the topic, what do you love most about living here? What are your favorite places our readers should check out?
I love the attitude and environment of this city — it’s very expansive and home to such a diverse group of individuals and ideas. I love classic LA spots like Jon & Vinny’s and Matsuhisa, and I always go the Farmer’s Market and the beach in Santa Monica with my family. Arcana is also my go-to spot for rare books.
Let’s talk about your hair routine. You’re busy, you run a business, you’re a mother but you have to look good. What’s a beauty hack that saves you time but keeps you feeling confident?
Put some coconut oil in your hair, put it a tight bun, and get your shit done!
Do you have a 2017 mantra?
Do it. Own it.
How does an entrepreneur like you start your Mondays?
After getting the kids to school, I like to start the week at the studio with a meeting with my entire team — helps to have us start strong and establish a productive, creative dialogue for the rest of the week.
Do you have any beauty advice for new, working moms?
I tend to prefer a bare face when I’m working, but love a kohl liner to amp up my look for meetings or after hours.
What’s your definition of the modern woman?
The woman who’s always on duty — from work to family to social life, she’s always on her game.
The best piece of fashion advice you ever received (and from who)?
Best piece of advice is from my grandma Frida. She always told me fit is everything - make sure your pieces work on you and make sure you find a good tailor.
Follow Andrea on Instagram, here.