We Get Some Christmas Shopping Tips From Liberty of London’s Omar

We get the inside scoop on department store Liberty from our new obsession – and drape cape inventor – Omar Khan

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by Sophie Cullinane |

Following on from last year’s insightful three-part documentary, historic London department store Liberty has opened its oak doors to Channel 4 camera crews for a second series and we couldn’t be more obsessed. Such is the extent of our new TV obsession that we’ve partnered with the awesome messaging service Viber to bring you live conversation about the show. It's behind the scenes chats and lols just like you would be on the sofa with a mate, think an online version of Gogglebox that fits into your pocket.

This time round, the series is packed full of campy chintz and guaranteed eccentricity amongst patrons (who all seem to share the same obsession with scarves, history and, erm, dogs) and it’s an often hilarious insight into some of the most middle class shoppers in the country and the most outrageously ostentatious staff we’ve ever seen. Speaking of such staff, to give you even more of a glimpse into the Liberty world we chatted to the inventor of the ‘cape drape’. Sales Associate Omar Khan about Christmas time in England’s most festive department store.

Working At Liberty's

The Debrief: Hi Omar! Tell us a bit about your job for someone who hasn’t caught the show yet

Omar Khan: Basically, it’s my job to make ladies look fabulous! I pull looks together for our customers and also get involved with some of the social stuff and help style for shoots. It can get pretty glamorous, especially for a guy from Birmingham. A highlight has been meeting Anne Hathaway - Devil Wears Prada just flashed before my eyes and I nearly died right there on the spot - but she was so cool.

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DB: Has your life completely changed since getting involved?

OK: It’s been so funny, people run up to me on the bus whilst I’ve got a face full of Chinese takeaway to tell me how much them or their girlfriend love me – I really appreciate all the support it’s so sweet. I used to be able to get drunk and stumble home, but now I get worried someone might spot me so Ubers have definitely become more of a thing. I haven’t had a chance to get back up to Birmingham because I’ve been so busy down here, but people back home have been sending me all the love on Twitter – it’s a mad feeling.

Omar's Famous Outfits At Liberty's

DB: You’ve become famous for your amazing outfits on the show, how much planning goes into it?

OK: I just wear what I feel like on the day – I never plan it out because if I lay what I want to wear out the night before I’ll probably be bored of it by the morning anyway. I dress according to my mood and I just chuck on anything I feel compelled to wear – like I went into Beyond Retro the other day and saw a sequined bomber jacket and I just had to have it. I made up the now infamous ‘cape drape’ because I couldn’t find anything I wanted to wear because I wanted to be warm through winter and autumn. People have been coming up to me asking furiously about where I can find the cape drape. I’m actually working on a little capsule collection – which I’d love to be in Liberty (watch this space!).

Liberty's Christmas Gift Guide

DB: You've got to be the best person to help us out with our Christmas buys, what should we getting?

OK: Even though we’ve only got, like, five Christmas songs that are on loop for the whole day – and you’re like ‘oh my god please no!’ – the Christmas shop just breathes life and I'm obessed with Christmas. I'd get your Dad somehting practical but beautiful like a shaving kit. Mums love to be warm, so why not get her a Stella cardigan. Boyfriend are hard - they're there to shower us with gifts - but a fale safe tip is to check out his aftershave and see what scents he likes and get him a more boutique version of that. I with a mate it's nice to get something you can do together, like a theatre ticket or even some jewellry that will remind them of you.

Liberty's Christmas Party Outfits

DB: Our office Christmas party is coming up, any tips?

OK: Just go in! Our Christmas do is 70s themed so I'm going all out in mathcing corduroy and a scarf round my head. Just go for it - if you want to be sexy just go full sexy with red. It's only once a year!

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Follow Sophie On Twitter @sophiecullinane

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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