There’s nothing quite like a vintage t-shirt. It’s been through the wash too many times to count, making the cotton fabric turn into the softest thing you’ve ever felt. There might be holes, but that just means it’s been around the block a time or two. Back in high school, my dad handed me down a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt that he bought in 1978. This is one of the best articles of clothing I have ever owned. I love that a simple shirt can live through so much, and be bought or passed down to live on through someone else’s adventures.
Vintage Loves and We The Free teamed up recently to source some amazing vintage band tees, and reworked them to create an amazing limited edition line of vintage t-shirt renewal dresses. The Grateful Dead, ACDC, Prince, Van Halen — they are all in there, plus some more gems.
I wanted to get to know more about how this collection came to be, so I asked one of our designers, Sam, a few questions to get the scoop on these awesome dresses.
How long have you been designing at Free People, and what do you do on a normal day?
2 years! At Free People there is no normal day! Every day is different depending on the deadlines we have for that week. But I guess daily things include: looking for inspiration, blog hunting, following up on styles that are in production, running to fittings, and most importantly sewing! Lots and lots of clothes making.
The collection is a collaboration between Vintage Loves and We The Free — how did this project come to be?
My boss and I thought it would be cool to actually use the real vintage tees that inspire many of our Free People graphic tees. It just seemed like something that made sense.
Where did you draw most of your inspiration from when designing this collection?
I only designed one of the dresses! We had several designers all design one, some fell into our Free People collection and the other one that became a Vintage Loves piece was designed by our creative director Doub!
All of the dresses incorporate vintage band tees. What are some of your favorite bands, old and new, that you are currently listening to? What kind of music inspires you the most?
My favorite band of all time is The Talking Heads, I can listen to them any time of day for any reason and it always seems to fit. I’m pretty bad with music actually! I’m so busy I have no time to really discover much new music! I have been listening to Father John Misty on repeat… I don’t even know what’s new anymore! I like Lykki Li a lot, especially while I’m taking a bubble bath, Billy Holiday is also good for bubble bathing.
Oh! I love oldies! Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, they can do no wrong.
Which of the tees were you most excited to design with and why?
The original mock up I did was with a Quiet Riot tee — I guess that one was my favorite! I love the contrast between a hot pink tutu and a metal tee.
How would you style your favorite dress from the collection?
I’d probably pair the dress I designed back to boots and a leather jacket — similar to how they styled it on Lizzy for the holiday shoot :) (see below).
What vintage band tee would you want reworked into a dress?
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