*First name: Dana
*How long have you worked at Free People? A year and a half
*Tell me about your job: I work on the FP knits team, designing for alternating seasons (Holiday, Spring, Summer 2/ Fall1). I get to sketch and design things for each trend, select fabrics and work with our color team to chose prints for each style. And then we travel to our overseas vendors to check up on the product and help them out.
*What do you like best about working at FP? I love the people I work with! I love having creative freedom, and the ability to design things that are unique and hand crafted. When we get to see our styles for the first time before we show them to the sales team, it’s like Christmas. Everyone gets so excited opening the boxes, and looking at the product that we’ve all worked so hard on.
*Favorite current FP item? I love the Seashore Dropwaist Tank in white because it’s great to wear with jeans, and it’s a cute stripe which is always fun if you just want something to throw on.. and you can layer it or wear a cute belt. OH And I LOVE the Chubby Change Purses!! They are so tiny and cute and fabulous.
*What do you do when not at work? I hang out with my son Asher, go thrift shopping, sew stuff, bake pies, watch movies in the winter, go camping in the summer, shop ebay like an addict
*Top 5 favorite things (books, movies, websites, music, artists etc)? WOW i have a ton! I just finished the last Harry Potter book – it might be nerdy but I love them! I have also read Watership Down a thousand times, I like the Steven King Gunslinger books and any sort of biography/ autobiography. Some good movies are Moulin Rouge, Footloose, and Urban Cowboy. I heart art by Elizabeth McGrath and Audrey Kawasaki.
*What did you want to me when you were a kid? I wanted to be a ballerina until I was 12, and then I wanted to be a veterinarian until I did a job shadow and realized it wasn’t for me.
*Favorite places to hang out? The shore, the woods and Pennypack Park. I’m from Seattle, and when I’m there I love the Bleu Bistro on Capitol Hill, vintage shopping in the University district, Lincoln Park in West Seattle, Moses Lake for camping, Ocean Shores for vacation.
This cool tree, which has been ‘planted’ on a wall next to the lobby here in the
Free People Home Office, features a photo of nearly every Free People Home Office employee!
The photos don’t quite capture how big and cool it actually is!
(And a big thank you to everyone who helped put it up! It’s wonderful!)
Enough with all the suspense. The May catalog drops today, so check yer mailboxes, or check it out online.
A little about this month’s book…
Our May 08 catalog was based on a “by the seashore” concept… We’d been hitting up a lot of beautiful sandy beaches lately, so we wanted to explore something a little different.
Our senior stylist pointed us to the rocky beaches of central/northern California, especially the Big Sur area.
Anyone I’ve ever talked to about Big Sur has said nothing short of amazingly beautiful things about the place…so we packed up and headed west.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t very cooperative – it was quite cold and rainy a lot of the time.
And to boot, our brunette model got sick during the first day of shooting, so we brought in a 2nd girl at the last minute.
But it was great using 2 different faces…
We took a 12-passenger van out on 17-mile drive, starting off each morning near our hotel in Monterey and then driving through pebble beach (we ate lunch each day at a deli in the middle of the golf course), then onto Big Sur.
Spent a lot of time looking over cliffs at what we thought were sea lions, only to realize quite late in the game that they were really giant pieces of seaweed.
We were a little bummed…
This was our first all-girl outing, by the way…photographer, assistants, stylists, etc. very exciting!!!
A friend of one of the fp girls made the May catalog video (see the previous entry) and it turned out so amazing, we wanted to share a little about his process and inspiration. Here is what Ram had to say about his work on the project.
“Carrie (fp creative director) first sent me a 3-4 minute cut done there with music and everything. I used that footage and grabbed stills from it I liked compositionally and took them into Photoshop to create color boards. The whole idea was to create a dreamy feel for the video. This is something I like to incorporate into a lot of what I do.
My background is illustration, specifically in concept art and matte painting, which is basically just creating images which don’t actually exist, but could in a potential fantasy world. The boards showed how far I’d like to push the piece. From there, David Bokser and I requested more footage. I scrubbed through it and found everything I liked and then we started on the final edit. I also knew I wanted it to end with “Free People” written in the clouds. I also spent a good bit of time going through the footage to find frames of the behind the scenes people and even some other interesting shots and treated them with texture and color for the “flicker” shots through the whole piece. I’ll post some of the favorites on my website once the video is released.
The choice of music was difficult at first. When Carrie initially brought up the possibility of doing this I had some music in mind that reminded me of the drive down the Pacific Coast Highway (where Big Sur is). I really wanted to use a certain track, but I didn’t want that to dictate the mood. I wanted the clothing and the models to be first. When Dave played me the piano track, I was hesitant at first to let go of what I originally wanted but after a few listens and some changes I enjoyed it more and more and felt it was fitting.
I really love Free People. Is that weird for a guy to say? :) I think maybe the cute models have something to do with it. Ha, no really, what I love most about FP is the use of textures, patterns, and color. I am one to always incorporate texture and rich color into what I do. I think the clothing just looks great, it has a vintage flare to it but very modern and stylish. Another quality I really love is how the inspirations for the trend come from around the world. I’d love to do a photoshoot for Free People on location and create a catalog and video.
The creative inspiration question… always a tough one. A while back, Kara (from fp) introduced me to a photographer, Tim Walker, whose work I’d seen before but now that I knew the name I fell in love with the work when I saw an entire gallery of it altogether. His work, alongside a slew of fashion photographers, have been really inspirational. I’ve actually come up with some photo shoots of my own that I hope to start working on soon. A huge director inspiration for me these days has been Bruno Aveillan. His video for Louis Vuitton is incredible and his cinematography is practically flawless. In the future I’d love to come on set and shoot the videos for Free People as a more narrative piece that incorporates the clothing as the showcase.”
The music is by an artist named Michael David Crawford. Ram said “We basically wanted something dreamy and devoid of words so we could focus on the visuals. I do love piano and want desperately to learn to play. :) Originally the piece was going to incorporate an E.E. Cummings poem I really liked, but after the edit and visual effects were done, we were really happy with it and didn’t want to detract from what we already had.”
Ram’s web site: www.rambhat.com
David Bokser’s site: www.davidbokser.com
Almost the moment I posted pictures of the Big Sur catalog shoot for you all
to look at, I was informed that the catalog video had been put up on the
Free People Youtube! So I wanted to be sure and post it for you to see!
You can also find it (and all our other videos) here.
This catalog drops next week and we are all so excited! Enjoy!
I don’t mean to overwhelm you with videos, but I really wanted to share this. This Saturday, you can join the world to celebrate Pangea Day. The concept is really amazing. Here is some info from the Pangea Day web site…
Pangea Day is a global event bringing the world together through film.
Why? In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it’s easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that – to help people see themselves in others – through the power of film.
More than 1,000 Pangea Day events worldwide will transmit photos, video, and text messages, to be incorporated in the live broadcast and the pangeaday.org web site.
The 4-hour Pangea Day program will include visionary speakers and live music in addition to the featured films. Queen Noor of Jordan, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, musician/activist Bob Geldof and Iranian rock phenom Hypernova are among the presenters taking part.
So get some buddies together or check out this map to find put where people will be celebrating near you.
Meet our intern Pruitt! She is doing an awesome job helping out with the blog to bring you more nuggets from the FP home office. Check out these videos while Pruitt interviews people on the streets and asks, “Do you know what Free People is?” And check out her shopping trip.
We’ve updated our youtube page with a few new videos you haven’t seen before, so go there to see them all…
Here is our behind the scenes look at the Free People Home Office in Philadelphia. This video shows our three summer trends for 2008.
Peace Corps Prep: Inspired by girls in the peace corps traveling in India.
Everything But a Flower: A collection of new and vintage geometric patterns and shapes.
Mayan: Inspired by the beautiful Mayan Riviera and Aztec designs.