Intimates are just that…intimate. You can save them for behind closed bedroom doors, or allow a little bit to peek out from underneath a proper garment. The delicate lace, dreamy hues and accentuating shapes can make any girl feel an extra bit sexy, and there’s a simplistic beauty that goes with that.
Our recent intimates e-book, At First Light, includes pieces that are soft to the touch, playful and perfectly seductive. I wanted to feature some of my favorite product from the book, but also wanted to catch up with one of our intimates designers, and who better to choose than one of our previous blog family members, Jemma!
Jemma helped the BLDG25 blog grow to what it is today, but wanted to follow her design dreams by transitioning to the intimates team last year. We miss having Jemma on the blog, but seeing her chase her passion is exciting and inspiring.
I caught up with Jemma and got a little glimpse into her new world, and found out what this intimates designer has planned (outfit and date!) for the day of love and lace: Valentine’s Day!
How long have you been working at Free People?
I have been working at Free People for 4 years now.
I know you’re not originally from the states. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town in South Wales in the UK.
What was your favorite part about growing up there?
I loved the countryside, the vast cliffs over the ocean and the small community of people. I used to explore a lot with my parents; long walks in the country and many road trips. It was very free.
You transitioned from the blog up to design, was it hard to adjust?
Yes it was a hard but an enjoyable transition. I had studied fashion design at university and made clothes in my spare time but the administrative side of design was all new to me. Every day there’s something new to learn.
So what is your new job like? Give us a day in the life :)
Each day is different but it usually consist on researching ideas for new and exciting styles for Free People for the coming delivery, looking for fresh fabrics that we feel will translate into great product, and communicating with vendors/buyers in making sure our designs are running smoothly. If there is sketch review coming, our days will involve a lot of mocking which is always good fun getting ready to present to the directors.
How long have you been designing for?
For Free People around 6 months.
What is your favorite fabric to work with when designing intimates? Favorite color?
Of course I love working with lace. I feel it’s a true intimates fabric. I also like light whimsical fabrics like chiffons and every now and again try and explore a fabric that has a bit of difference. My favorite color for intimates varies depending what mood I’m in. one day it could be peach or ivory, the next it could be a midnight blue or black.
Where do you draw most of your inspiration from?
I always get inspired by people, music, energies and experiences. I could travel to a city like New York and gather a ton of inspiration from the girl sitting in the coffee shop wearing a pretty slip with her oversized cardigan, flicking through the latest issue of Vogue, to the patterns I see wrapped around the city’s infrastructure. If I listen to my favorite songs they could trigger a feeling and mood for me to think about a concept, or if I have a beautiful creative conversation with someone, that too can inspire me.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Work smarter, not harder, and never let go of your dreams, even if they seem hard to get. Don’t ever give up… not once.
What are your three favorite items from the recent intimates e-book?
I can’t wait to get my hands on the Essential Lace Bandeau in every color. The Sail Away Tank is cool, the asymmetrical hem makes it interesting and unique and I see myself wearing this in many different ways in the summer. The Fox Robe! every girl needs a fox robe!! especially if you’re waking up to your boyfriend/husband on the weekend.
Three things you can’t live without?
Health, love and happiness.
What’s your ideal Valentine’s Day date, and what would you wear?
I would create a little fort or tipi in my home. There would be candles and fairy lights and we’d spend the evening listening to music, giggling and playing around with a Polaroid camera…wrapped inside our own little bubble for the evening, just the two of us. On this date I would wear the Easy Breezy Crochet Slip and the Laser Engraved Delicate Necklace that reads more than all the stars by Laurel Denise.
What is one of your all-time favorite love songs?
Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding. For Valentine’s Day? I would play Pitter Patter Goes My Heart by Broken Social Scene.
Thank you Jemma! We miss you!
Read more designer interviews on the BLDG 25 blog.
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