A designer’s worst nightmare? It has to be shipping his Spring/Summer 2016 collection from Los Angeles to New York ahead of New York Fashion Week, only to have the shipping company lose about half of the truly one-of-a-kind garments. And that is exactly what happened to Los Angeles-based brand, Libertine, the high fashion label known for its vintage reworked masterpieces. Johnson Hartig, the brand’s founder and creative director, confirmed the loss to TFL, as well as the Hollywood Reporter, which noted that boxes of garments, many of which retail for upwards of $2000, “mysteriously vanished in transit from the brand’s L.A. headquarters to the Hudson Hotel on New York’s west side, where the Libertine team has decamped for the week.”
If you’re familiar with Hartig’s work (and you probably are: it is stocked at the most highly-regarded retailers in the world and is a favorite to stars that range from Taylor Swift and Katy Perry to Mick Jagger and Cher to Heidi Klum), you will know why this is such a devastating loss. The vast majority of his garments are, in fact, one of a kind thanks to their excess in intricate embroidery, beading, bedazzling, hand-done silk screening (a process Hartig has mastered and pioneered over the years), and other customizations. He told the Hollywood Reporter, "The clothes were a lot of labor-intensive work this season — that’s what’s really terrible about it.”
When we spoke to Hartig this afternoon, he said UPS has recovered a few of the boxes but some are still missing. Hartig, who launched his collection in 2001, remains impossibly upbeat, saying his team has been working around the clock for the past several days to make this work, and the show will proceed as planned this evening.