Hallie Liebling of Käärme
» Mom, wife of a doom metal legend, designer.
Hallie Liebling's life resume has received quite a bump in the last nine months. The 25-year-old wife of doom metal legend Bobby Liebling (of the band Pentagram) had the couple's first child last winter, and recently put up the first lookbook for her clothing line Käärme.
Interested in how she's balancing it all, I sent Hallie a few questions over e-mail about the collection, her husband, baby, and what influences her.
You became a mom late last year. How's that been treating you?
Life as a mom treats me better than life ever treated me before. It's euphoric. He's a great baby, and we adore him. It's like waking up to sunshine every day. I feel really blessed
Does your baby have any specific music preferences?
He loves all music. He loves the sing-along stuff on Sesame Street and he loves when we're in the car listening to UFO or Uriah Heep or something. He just loves music in general. He sleeps with a little plush elephant that plays music when you pull its tail.
The documentary on your husband Bobby came out recently (Last Days Here), has it been interesting seeing a renewed interest in his work?
I haven't seen the documentary, but I know the support from Bobby's fans & friends mean a lot to him, and therefore it means a lot to me. It's really cool to see the front row of his concerts filled with younger kids, guys and girls. I still don't think he realizes the extent to which people appreciate his music and the fact that he's flown the Pentagram flag for 40+ years. But it's what he's always loved to do, he's good at it, and it makes me feel good to see him happy when fans approach him with all sorts of praise.
How did you guys meet?
We met on the phone. It's a really strange, convoluted, crazy story. Maybe they debrief people on that in the documentary. We talked on the phone for nearly a year before meeting. He moved to Philadelphia shortly after that. I'm very lucky. He's my diamond in the rough. There is no one on this planet that is even remotely like Bobby. He is the dearest person to my heart, along with our son.
The Käärme summer lookbook recently went online. Are you pretty happy with how everything turned out?
I'm very happy with everything turned out. Since this is our first collection and was totally self-funded, it is a pretty small collection, and is really more pre-fall at this point as opposed to summer. It doesn't matter; the clothes are meant to be worn year-round anyway. I took my time with the design process because I wanted things to be just so, and I've found in the past while trying to launch a line with other partners that things don't really turn out the way you want them to unless you do them yourself. So, I did it myself. I'm very happy with everything. The only thing I'm bummed about is how highly I have to price the sterling, because they are so expensive to produce and are very heavy statement pieces. However, I'd rather produce a quality piece that maybe only a handful of people can afford rather than offer a tacky piece just to make money. This fall we will offer denim apparel, more precious metal jewelry, and hopefully leather apparel.
If you could do a capsule collection for any designer or retailer, who/what would it be?
I really have no idea. The Käärme stuff is kind of esoteric; unlike a lot of streetwear, I didn't really take iconic imagery and put my own spin on it. I had artists draw up ideas I had, had fun with some graphic design.... It's streetwear but there are also some high-end pieces, so I'm not sure where that falls. I'd love to see my stuff carried in a shop like Nasty Gal, Bona Drag, or maybe a site more unisex-friendly, like Karmaloop. It would be sick to do a capsule collection for a big name store like Opening Ceremony where maybe I could branch out a little more. I'm not a couture designer by any means, so I don't know which designer I'd want to collaborate with.
Who or what is your biggest style influence? I see bits of 70s metal, 80s skater look, etc.
Musicians are mainly my biggest style influence, or genres of music in general. You're right about the 70s metal thing. I draw influence from everything from 90s street punk like Oxymoron (which seems to have been forgotten completely, overshadowed by the trendiness of the Black Flag font and stuff) to really obscure 68-72 hard rock, like Ultimate Spinach and Stone Circus.
What music do you mostly listen to? I can tell various eras of rock n' roll have influenced your look.
Mostly all eras of rock 'n roll have influenced the way I dress. Like I said, late 60s and early 70s hard rock i.e. Uriah Heep, Budgie, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Wishbone Ash, UFO, Nitzinger ... the list goes on and on. I still listen to punk rock: Special Duties, Vice Squad, Action Pact!, the Blood, d-beat like Appendix, Discharge. I also listen to black metal like Satanic Warmaster, Deathspell Omega, Vlad Tepes, Torgeist. it's really all over the place. I even like Veruca Salt. I'll always love them.
What does the future hold for you, Bobby, the baby, and Käärme?
Hopefully a lot of years of love and happiness. As for Käärme, I hope people enjoy the clothing and I can keep designing and building the brand for a good while.