NYC's Dirty Grl: Liberty Leben
A fearless, eclectic pop culture artist turned novelty soap connoisseur - with mentions from NYLON, Buzzfeed, Cult Factory - throwing events in the hottest Brooklyn spots with Broad City’s Musical Director spinning the decks - all before her last semester at college. How’s that for a femme fatale entrepreneur!
Liberty Leben is a sight for sore eyes; with her rainbow morphing hair, absurdly daring style, and outspoken philosophy - the word “boundaries” doesn’t seem to ring a bell. She recently launched her own soap company, fittingly dubbed: DIRTY GRL. The brand is intoxicating and fresh - yelling from the rooftops to always be unapologetic, love and be proud of your body, and never be afraid to get a little dirty. The pop culture inspired line is completely all-natural vegan (biodegradable and strictly against animal testing) and offers ingredients that nourish, cleanse, and pamper the body. The line evolves each season with relevant trends Liberty finds enticing. A handmade piece of art that represents the current and melts away with time - now isn’t that something?
Liberty is a business woman at heart with the admirable knack to seek and jump opportunities and her brand promotes the things we love: determination, allure, provocation, and of course, fun! With her growing business, one more semester at Parsons School of Design, and an ever inspired daily life - Miss Leben’s gother hands full and has no intention to slow her roll.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Liberty at her Dirty Clean Fun Event, held at Matchabar in Williamsburg - with musical guest MATT FX. Not only was she completely stunning, but her take on modern art and beauty is incredibly refreshing and innovative.
ANNA: Liberty, could you tell us a little bit about your history as an artist, and how DIRTY GRL came about?
LIBERTY: I study Communications Design at Parsons, and ended up taking more of a fine arts approach to the concepts and skills in relation to modern culture, technology, and media. Most of my art is inspired by fashion and the internet. I wanted to create a new kind of marketing for reimagining mundane objects by presenting them in a way that “style/trends” are represented in our society.
I haven’t always been a soap crafter. I spent all my free time learning how to make soap and started DIRTY GRL as a passion project and a way for me to market my personal aesthetic. I love to collaborate with artists and designers to expand on this idea that soap is an artistic medium.
ANNA: Where do you draw most of your inspiration from?
LIBERTY: At heart I will always be my 13 year old self. That’s where my inspiration comes from - mixed with content and social issues that interest me. I’m growing a business from a creative point of view and plan for my brand to be constantly evolving with me. DIRTY GRL has been first and foremost an art project for me that can constantly be improving, critiqued, and evolve.
ANNA: What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome as someone entering the competitive beauty industry?
LIBERTY: Being fearless and learning how to never be afraid to ask for help!
Also, changing the way I look at this industry; I don’t see other competitors as competition. I perfer to see other companies as inspiration for direction. I see potential to learn through other beauty brands and possible opportunities for collaboration.
ANNA: What’s the next big thing for DIRTY GRL and Liberty Leben?
LIBERTY: Keep a look out for art shows, pop up events, and really exciting collaborations - unconventional and great products!
And for me - GRADUATING! My last semester starts this week!