Cindy Liberman

Cindy Liberman is a BA (Hons) Fashion Contour student and the co-founder of Lara Intimates, a sustainable underwear brand which aims to empower and reconnect women with their lingerie, ultimately becoming the sustainable, British alternative to Victoria’s Secret.

Lara Intimates was the winner of the SET Challenge, SET’s annual flagship event where students are invited to create or showcase an innovative idea, product or service that can make a real difference to a community or to a consumer of their choice. Winning teams receive cash investments and access to mentors.

What made you want to study at LCF?

Growing up in the US, I wanted to go somewhere different for university and completely transplant myself somewhere new. It’s not that I didn’t like home; I just had an adventurous spirit and was excited to go somewhere new. When I told friends and family I had applied to London College of Fashion they were immediately impressed, so I figured London would be a great place to study and find new opportunities.

Why did you choose this course?

Before the BA Fashion Contour, I did the Access to Fashion foundation year at LCF. I went into it thinking womenswear was for me, but a tutor saw that my drawings were always accentuating the waistline and female form. He suggested I try sketching lingerie, which I thought was completely crazy. I tried it and surprisingly, it felt completely natural.

What has the teaching been like?

The course has a nice balance between the creative and technical aspects of design. We are encouraged to think outside the box with design, but then work out how to make a garment fit and function properly. Our tutors are amazing at making bras fit, and they’ve taught so much about the functionality of the garments. There’s not a lot of people in the world with such specialist skills and I feel lucky to have learned from women with a lot of expertise.

What made you want to start your own business?

I wasn’t interested in starting my own business until we came up with the idea for Lara Intimates. Once the idea was fully formed, I felt so passionate about it and knew Faith and I were the right people to start the business. I’m constantly working on the company, generating new ideas all the time and now I truly can’t imagine myself doing anything else.

How has The Student Enterprise Team supported your business development?

We are so lucky that the Student Enterprise Team started this year. As Faith and I are on a design course, we had zero support from business teachers and mentors before SET. Regular meetings with SET advisors helped refine our business plan, finance projections and overall vision for the company. We also won the SET challenge in March, which came with a cash prize and mentorship. Going forward with the business after graduation with backing from the university makes us so optimistic about the future for Lara Intimates.

What is the main critical success factor you would say every new business needs to know?

Passion. If you’re starting a business you need to be so excited about the idea that you build a vision around it. When challenges get in your way, step back and remember the big picture of what you’re building and why it’s important. When you’re working with new people, they need to share your vision for the business too.