As much as I love clothes, I am just as interested in the women wearing them… particularly when they come in a package as phenomenal as Dann Liebermann. This incredible woman blasted her way into my life via Bonnie Doman – all gazelle legs, rock star vibes and an energy field that not so much radiates as explodes. Multi-talented, supportive, warm, supermodel-gorgeous and a successful businesswoman… basically just brilliant. If she wasn’t so nice she’d be completely terrifying.
Oh, and as if she didn’t have enough going for her, she sings too. Listen to her beautiful voice here.
Dann is the third installment of my Manifesto Woman Series, where I interview women living interesting lives and whose style I love. If you have bought from me in the past, there is a strong chance that you’ve been wearing some of her clothes.
She’s also the face of my first Manifesto Woman shoot so it’s likely you’ll recognise her from my Instagram.
Read more about this fascinating woman below. If you’re as interested in people as me, you’ll love learning more about her. I hope she inspires you as much as she does me.
Q. I’d love to know your background – your history and your journey getting to where you are today…
I’m a West London girl. I grew up in Ladbroke Grove with my sister and parents when it was still full of antiques and bohemian families. I’m not sure I ever really had a calling, but I loved music and art, they made me feel things.
From a young age I found I could write songs and had a voice too (even though I didn’t like how I sounded) but people kept telling me how good it was, so I sang and wrote alongside working in fashion, which was kind of the dream career combo for me.
I had some great times in both worlds. Fashion shoots in Iceland with huskies and wedding dresses on elephants in Africa at the same time as working with Ian Brown and singing his track F.E.A.R as a single and performing on Top of the Pops.
I had my own family along the way, 2 beautiful girls who filled my world with more inspiration and the desire to keep creating to hopefully be an inspiration to them one day too.
My singing career landed me in an advertising job for Mastercard for the Fifa football World Cup back in 2006. I loved the guys I did the session for, so when they offered me the chance to work with them, I knew it was the right move. Advertising was a natural fit as my father was a bit of a legend in the industry and I’d grown up hanging around on sets and shoots with him.
Like many people, my ‘career’ didn’t go to plan, but I love where I’ve landed for now and I’m not done yet!
Q. Tell me a bit about your work now?
I’m a producer at The Elements Music UK/LA. We write award-winning original music to picture, bringing films to life. We’ve done gigantic spots for the NFL Super Bowl, The Voice USA and brands like Samsung, Dyson, Porsche.
I’ve never been good at doing something I don’t care about, so it’s key for me to work with people that are also personally invested and passionate about what they do. We’re a team of 6 and I’m the only girl, so I’m the most important!
I always have big dreams, which I’m chipping away at alongside being a mama and work. My dream is to set up a sort of Colette style platform to showcase designers, artists, musicians that I love and develop my own lifestyle label within this. It’s still in the ideas phase at the moment, but I’m in no rush, especially as it will be about artisanal brands, which are all about the detail and process to get it right.
Q. How would you describe your style and your approach to buying/ wearing clothes
I actually have a very small amount of clothes. People don’t believe me, but I have one wardrobe and rotate about 5 pairs of shoes, which include my fav CDG trainers. My fashion has sort of cemented in the last couple of years. Up until then I was trying different styles out.
I love black. There is a scene from the 90’s film ‘Mermaid’s’ when Winona Ryder wipes the make-up off her face and pulls on a black jumper and jeans after an incident involving her sister. I literally remember thinking how it made her look so beautiful and so cool. That’s what wearing all black makes me feel, so I wear it a lot!
The key for me is to wear what I feel comfortable and confident in everyday, so I make sure my wardrobe has the failsafe pieces I know will work when I’m not in the right mood to get a look together. These are things like a white collarless shirt, a midnight blue jumper, black jeans (black and blue another fav combo), oversized jumpers are a thing as I’m not great with tight clothing, unless it’s tucked in. I was often mistaken for a boy when I was a kid and had a bit of androgynous look. I still like this in clothing and often find myself in the men’s section when I shop.
I don’t really shop on a regular basis. I way prefer buying a couple of items and having a few pieces to put together in a new look for the season. I buy things I like and that suit me, so I don’t tend to follow trends, I stick to the designers or labels that work for me; American Vintage, Acne, I love MiH jeans jumpsuits and I still wear the oversized maroon jumper with a square neck that I got in one of their amazing sample sales years ago. I do like to feel coordinated, but I do it in a simple, pretty earthy way, I think that’s the Virgo in me!
My most expensive item is a linen jumpsuit by Anecho from Blue Mountain School and my best buy is a black silk collarless zip jacket from H&M I got for a tenner in the sale. The designer I would like to have in my wardrobe is Rick Owens, his amazing cashmere oversized coats and leather jackets that feel like velvet…. a girl can dream!
I’m not a big accessories girl. For me jewellery is not about a statement it’s about things that I like or that have meaning to me, like the disc necklace with my girls initials made by one of my bestie’s Rachel Balfour and a matching bracelet saying ‘lucky’ that my sister and I were given at Christmas from my father, after both having some tricky life challenges that we got through together.
I guess I’m not about show, I’m about style and feeling good on the outside in a way that reflects the way I feel about myself inside.
Q. What do you do to be planet-friendly? How has your consumption behaviour changed, if at all, over the last 5 years? Don’t feel the need to be ‘worthy’ here, I think it’s good for people to be honest about their short-comings…
I would say I had more of a disposable approach to my wardrobe when I was younger and playing around with fashion, but in the recent past, I’ve been pretty good. I’m not a hoarder or particularly emotional about material things and I like wearing the clothes I buy over and over, because they are my look!
I do recycle, but mostly the kids clothes because they’ve grown out of them. And, as you know, I like to sell my higher end pieces with Manifesto Woman, as I love knowing that my clothes go on to have another life and I can replace them with something else guilt free!
Q. Looking forward to 5 years time… what are your dreams on both a professional and personal level? What would you like to have achieved?
I have a mantra:
I AM | HAPPY | HEALTHY | SECURE | CONFIDENT
It came to me exactly like this about 2 years ago. With 40 closing in, the urgency to actually be creating the life I wanted became undeniable. Initially it felt like a bag of sand that I was trying to hold on to sieving through my fingers, but now I know how to take one step at a time and I really do know that It’s about the journey.
So I am pretty sure I’ll make my dreams become a reality at some point. I’ll sing and perform again, I’ll work with creative people and fill my world with all the beautiful photography, clothes and music that I love, but now I’ll do it with a different intention, just me being me and hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to make a living from it one day.