Why I Started a Lingerie Brand- by Liberté Founder, Amber Tolliver
Posted on July 20 2019
The seed that ultimately grew into Liberté was planted somewhere in my transition from being a straight size model to a curve model.
I had been a lingerie model for quite some time already but I never noticed the disparity between what was available for “standard sizes” and the lack of availability for anything over a D cup. All of a sudden even though my size hadn’t changed that much I was blindsided by the lack of sizes and more so the disappearance of styles that I liked and felt would compliment my personal style.
For a while, I tried to brush it off as no big deal… It was “ok” that the only bra that came in my size was a basic t-shirt bra which came in black, white, “nude” and a fashion color if I was lucky. It was totally fine that they all looked like they should have a secret utility pocket built-in and made my boobs look like two petrified grapefruits… at least I could buy some version of that same t-shirt bra from every store under the sun. All I had to do was walk into any boutique or department store and ask “what do you have in my size?”... At this point I had completely given up on asking does this * insert beautiful bra on display* come in my size. The answer was almost always NO or if by some miracle they did have it, the fit was so horrible I had to wonder if the manufacture fit their samples on a real woman or just a mannequin.
The breaking point came when I found myself on set with another model for a lingerie shoot. I walked back to the dressing room to find a rack of beautiful lingerie. I was, for the first time in a long time, excited about the lingerie I would be modeling. As I thumbed through the looks I very quickly realized that none of the pieces were in my size and they were actually for the other model. Still hopeful about the shoot I asked where my looks were. I was then brought back to reality and pointed to another rack filled with washed out yet oddly shiny pieces that looked like they came out of a time capsule. They were more of the same t-shirt bra and wireless full coverage bras consisting of padded foam cups held up with ultra-thick straps, all meant to contain and cover. I couldn’t help but to think, a) I have enough, I don’t need or want padding and b) I’m not trying to cover my clavicles -if I wanted that much coverage I could buy a turtleneck!
My frustration transformed into the desire and drive to create Liberté. We launched in Feb 2019 with 2 collections and 24 bra sizes ranging from 32C-38H, providing beautiful contemporary styles not just for myself but for every woman who felt like the lingerie industry had ignored them.