HIS fledgling career has already seen him work for legendary American Vogue editor Anna Wintour and designer Marc Jacobs in his New York studio, while this week he is in Korea for Seoul Fashion Week.
But it’s all a world away from Liam Freeman’s hometown of Low Newton-by-the-Sea.
The 23-year-old former Duchess’s Community High School, Alnwick, pupil completed his degree in fashion design in the summer, and the collection he produced as he graduated has been selected to appear as part of the Seoul International Fashion Contest.
Whittled down from around 10,000 entries, Liam’s Woman of Mass Destruction is one of 15 that will be judged against entries from everywhere from Europe to Mongolia.
This follows a place on the shortlist at the Wolf and Badger Graduate Design Awards in August.
Liam said that he was really looking forward to heading to the East.
“I’m really intrigued because I have no idea what to expect,” he said. “But there’s quite a strong fashion industry bubbling over there.
“As soon as I knew I was going to Korea, I started seeing it and hearing about it everywhere.”
But the experience won’t be as nerve-racking as it may seem for a young aspiring designer, as he has already worked with some of the industry’s brightest lights.
While studying for his degree at Westminster University, Liam spent four months working for American Vogue in 2009.
He worked primarily in arranging publicity around events such as book launches as well as the release of the documentary about the magazine The September Issue.
At times he also worked directly for Anna Wintour, who many say provided the template for the Meryl Streep character in The Devil Wears Prada, such as looking after her family at the film premiere.
“I feel so grateful to have been able to work and be around people like Anna Wintour,” Liam said.
“She’s an incredible figure in the fashion world and beyond.
“She has this reputation but once you get rid of all that, you can see what incredible work she’s done.
“I loved it there. It felt very much like home very quickly.
“You didn’t have much time to think, it was incredibly fast-paced and exciting – you didn’t know who was going to come through the front door each day.”
The same was true when Liam returned to New York the following year to work for designer Marc Jacobs, where he helped prepare for the Spring 2011 show and people like Lady Gaga and P Diddy were regularly dropping into the offices.
According to Liam, this was a particularly rewarding experience as the team was so small – just Marc himself, two designers and a design assistant.
Despite his taste of the jet-set lifestyle, Liam said that he still loves to return home.
“It’s lovely coming back up here,” he said. “I would always love a base up here.”
And his Northumberland roots influenced the very collection that has helped him start to make waves in the fashion world. Woman of Mass Destruction was inspired by Margaret Thatcher and, in particular, her role in the demise of mining.
“Being from up here and my mum having worked in Pegswood, and then being in London for the student protests, made me think of the miners,” he said.
Several fashion publications pointed out his collection’s take on 1980s power dressing, particularly in his Royal blue jumpsuit.
What does the future hold for Liam?
“I don’t know yet. I’m just going to see what comes out of Korea,” he said.
“I’m keen to do my own thing. To work in editorial and have my own line on the side would be ideal.
“It’s a very personal thing and I wouldn’t like to see someone else’s name on my work.”