Ed Burstell is a seasoned retail executive known for his flamboyant, gregarious nature and adept leadership of Liberty’s double-digit year-on-year growth since he arrived in 2008. Formerly, Burstell was a senior vice president at American luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman, and before that he was general manager of upscale fashion accessories boutique Henri Bendel. He started his career as a fragrance sprayer at Macy’s, a vast and well-established mid-range stalwart of the American retail industry.
Having initially joined in 2008 as buying director, Burstell was promoted to managing director of Liberty in 2010 following private equity firm Blue Gem Capital’s £32 million acquisition of the company.
“I brought more of a commercial slant to the business. It always had so much great merchandise. It just needed to have the dust blown off,” he told Retail Week in 2012. In particular, he brought a renewed focus on young British designers like Mary Katrantzou and Peter Pilotto , and believes that London Fashion Week is the last bastion of creativity over commerce on the international fashion week circuit. He also highlighted Liberty’s renowned floral prints, spearheading a number of collaborations with brands like Levi’s, Barbour, and Nike.