You may not be able to tell at first glance, but A.L.C.—known for its elevated basics and elegant staples—is rooted in international travel. That’s because designer Andrea Lieberman is one of the most well-traveled and cultured women you’ll ever meet. Put your finger anywhere on a world map, and chances are Lieberman has already trotted yonder, due to her inherently nomadic personality and an early, long-time career as a jetsetting celeb stylist. These days, the native New Yorker resides in L.A., where she “started a company and family at the same time about eight years ago.” And it’s on the West Coast that Lieberman reimagines everyday wardrobe essentials for the modern, on-the-go woman.
Most A.L.C. fans know Lieberman’s work in apparel, but the brand is venturing into the accessories department in a big way. “I’m over the moon about our new spring bags, which are a whole new direction for us. It’s almost like a new launch,” says Lieberman. “One particular bag called the Sadie is my all-time favorite. It’s hobo-esque—soft, luxurious, simple, pure—and it’s inspired by my travels.”
For this installment of Discover Tidal, our monthly series with music-streaming service Tidal, we chat about this jetset influence with Lieberman and how travel informs all parts of her brand—from her color palette to the songs she plays in her studio. Listen to Lieberman’s exclusive playlist below, and be sure to try Tidal for yourself free. Even if you can’t get out of town, these tunes will surely transport you in other ways.
The Window: Who is the A.L.C. woman?
Andrea Lieberman: She is multi-faceted and lives a full life. She’s self-assured, confident, well-traveled. She keeps it real. She’s accomplished. She appreciates luxury. Ultimately, she is attention-grabbing, but never attention-seeking. Our brand style is modern, effortless, chic, and feminine. It’s a canon of essentials for today’s modern woman.
What are the “essentials” that every modern woman should own?
For me, the modern woman needs pieces that can do everything. When I go out, I always wear a gaucho because it’s a pant that moves like a skirt. Other items include a great cardigan, a printed dress you can wear day and night wherever you are, obviously a leather jacket, a car coat, and a poplin shirt with a fresh spin. We are continuously trying to redefine these new classics.
What would you say is A.L.C.’s brand mission?
The core ethos of the brand is to create essentials for women that become the favorite, go-to pieces that she reaches for 100% of the time. The emotion behind getting dressed is very important to me when I’m designing, so I strive to make clothes that make a woman feel good when she puts them on. I want any woman to put on A.L.C., walk out that door, and say “I got this.”
As a global woman, what are the items you pack for an international trip?
For me, I always reach for my favorite pieces that I could throw on in five minutes that can service me through Paris, Spain, Australia, Japan, L.A., New York, or wherever. When I throw on a gaucho or a pleated skirt with a T-shirt and heels, those are pieces that—no matter where I am in the world—get me doing whatever it is I need to do.
How has traveling the world changed you?
Travel has been a massive influence in my life. Going around the world and spending a lot of time in Africa was such a rich experience—to be able to see different cultures, colors, textures, landscapes, people, rituals, food, and markets. Traveling enriches every part of you, from your visual vantage point to your spiritual depth. I take all of my life journeys with me, and those experiences affect every decision I make. I was looking at pictures from the last time I was in a Morocco spice market, and it’s no wonder I’m so drawn to different shades of rust, golds, and yellows in my collection. Traveling informs you because it lives within you and it makes you go for these very specific choices.
Has your aesthetic changed since moving to L.A. from your hometown of NYC?
Wholeheartedly. There’s an easiness and informality to the L.A. lifestyle that has absolutely changed my aesthetic and vibe. There’s this concept of seasonless dressing, like a T-shirt with a pleated gold skirt and a sandal. However, I’m forever a New York girl and I honor the classics: the peacoat, the crisp white button-up, the school girl uniform. The L.A. lifestyle has given me a laid-back vibe to layer on top of those classics, and I think it’s become a really nice mix.
What else gets your creative juices going?
Music obviously plays a big role in the creative process. Traveling is not only about the visuals, but also about being enriched by the sounds. Being in Nairobi with all of the matatua—those colorful buses with lights and music—and hearing the Ace of Base song they were playing that summer…every time I hear that song, it puts me right back in that moment. That’s what music does. Certain songs write the soundtrack to your life. Songs can support you with such depth. You can close your eyes and go back there.
So how is music incorporated in your day-to-day?
We always have it on! We could be in the studio feeling nostalgic for the ‘90s and we’ll put on some Oasis. Or if I’m at the studio alone late at night and want to let loose, I play Kanye, Jay Z, or A$AP at top volume so I can have my moment. Or it can be a Sunday morning dance party with the kids. Music always surrounds me.
Tell us about your musical tastes.
I am a reggae and hip hop girl until the day I die. But I appreciate my husband’s ‘70s rock and my 7-year old daughter’s pop music. Right now, she is obsessed with Gwen Stefani and my son loves Alicia Keys and Adele, so that’s what we hear every time we’re in the car. As a traveler too, I’ve been exposed to so many types of music through the people I’ve met. For instance, listening to Bob Marley in Africa takes his music to another level in that cultural context. You realize how small the world is. Music is a universal language—it doesn’t matter if you’re in Eastern Europe, Africa, Japan, or America. Music makes you feel.
If you could outfit any current-day musical artist in A.L.C., who would it be?
I love Rihanna with all my heart. She just brings such phenomenal grit and sexy to everything she does. She’s amazing.
What was the first concert you ever attended?
Culture Club at Madison Square Garden.
What was the latest concert you attended?
Gwen Stefani with the kids!