i am so inspired by this story and artwork sent in from reader keely, from savannah, georgia. a college student who paints on the side, she was inspired by one of our summer display bikes to create jewelry out of wood, hemp, floss thread, scrapbook paper, fabric and free people catalogs!
it was this bike – specifically the wheels – that sparked her inspiration:
and here’s a look at the jewelry she created:
here are some of her paintings, which she creates using mixed media such as fabric, paper, glitter and acrylic paint. i love how colorful and cheerful they are:
finally, i had to share this photo of her christmas tree, decorated with all DIY ornaments!
now that’s a free people tree if i ever saw one :)
check out more of her work here. thanks so much for sharing, keely!
this awesome photo was sent in by our reader jenna, who wrote:
“so i’m on winter break…and have a ton of free time. i bought a cheap ukelele and am currently teaching myself how to play via youtube. anyway, i was still bored, so i decided to decorate my uke using acrylic paint… i think it ended up looking pretty freepeople-esque!”
i asked, and you responded! thank you so, so much to everyone who has sent in stories about their connection with fp! your stories, photos and artwork are beautiful – please keep them coming!
in the meantime, i wanted to share one of the very first emails i got, from sarah:
“I’ve loved FP since about 10th grade in high school and I think the reason is that in a lot of what you all do I see a reflection of myself – especially since reading the blog. I think the things that inspire you inspire me as well. I recently graduated from UVA with a Studio Art major in painting… I’ve painted since I was little and love it for the creativity and self expression it allows me. My grandmother was also an artist (I still use all of her old paintbrushes and paintbox), so I also appreciate the special inner connection it makes me feel to her. My work is very free, whimsical, feminine, and I am in love with nature so very inspired by that as well. I feel that these are a lot of the qualities that I also see in your brand and that is why I am so drawn to it.. As for other interests, I am currently getting certified to teach yoga classes, love music and going to shows, fashion, snowboarding, anything outdoors and with my friends… I find your blog and everything about FP such an inspiration so just thought I would share the connection I feel to it :)”
and here is some of her lovely artwork:
check out more of her work here. thank you so much, sarah!
one of the coolest things about my job as free people blogger is that i get to interact with so many of our customers and fans. whether it’s through the emails i get every day from blog readers, the comments people leave on blog posts, or photos and artwork people upload to facebook, i am constantly inspired by our fans.
but i want to get to know you even better, and share your stories on the blog so everyone can see them. tell me your story about free people – how you first discovered us, why you love free people, where you like to wear your free people, artwork and photography inspired by free people – you name it, i want to see it and hear it.
you can send your stories, photos, drawings, paintings, DIY projects, and more to firstname.lastname@example.org
i want to compile as many as possible for a little project we’d like to do as an ongoing tribute to you, our readers and fans.
get to know our amazing december catalog photographer, chrissy piper!
How did you first get involved with free people?
I had a friend who worked on the team that did in-store installations for Anthropologie. She mentioned that my work seemed perfect for Free People. Soon after that, I brought my book in to meet with Carrie (our videographer). At the time I shot mostly music (my book had portraits of Cat Power, Evan Dando, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Paul Westerberg, etc.) so we sat there nerding out on music for a long time. Not long after they booked me for my first shoot :)
When did you know you wanted to be a photographer?
I’d say pretty early on. As a kid my Mom would give me her camera (without film in it) to walk around taking pictures. One day the camera stopped winding. When I went in to ask my Mom about it, she realized that there had been a roll of film in the camera. When the film came back from the lab, there were lots of photos of one trash can, shot from all different angles. She asked me what I was taking a photo of and my response– “I was waiting for Oscar to pop out.” So, I think wanting to be a photographer has always been inside of me.
What kind of camera do you use? Do you always have a camera on you?
The camera I use more than anything is my Leica M4. I love it and for me, nothing really compares. When shooting something that needs a quick turnaround or digital, I use a Canon Mark II or 5D Mark II.
Yep, I always have a Yashica T4 in my little bag!
Who are some of your personal favorite photographers?
There are so many! Always inspired by others– Robert Frank, Helen Levitt, David Bailey, John Heartfield, Sylvia Plachy, Tim Walker.
the photographer at work, shooting our december book.
How was your experience shooting the Free People catalog?
I love shooting with the Free People crew. I feel like Doub (our creative director) and I share a really similar vision of the shoot and it’s just really great (and inspiring) to bounce ideas off of one another. We all worked really hard but had a great time doing it! I also love the girls that were casted for this shoot. They were both very confident as well as (naturally) beautiful.
Is there a particular shot in the catalog that you love most?
I love the center photo of Martha standing in the road. She just looks so bad ass to me!
How would you describe your personal style? Do you have a favorite item from our December catalog?
My “style” is pretty much Tom Boy with a few “girly” essentials! There were so many clothes (and boots) on this shoot that I wanted!!!
I can’t tell you how many times my assistant Autumn and I were like “I WANT THAT!” The red leather jacket Martha is wearing on the motorcycle is amazing as well as the black crotchet dress. Oh and I’ll take all of the boots in the catalog!!!
I loved your three records show and thought the whole concept was awesome! What are the three records that changed and/or inspired your life?
Thank you! The Three Records Zine has been like my baby for years so it means the world when people really get it.
Here are my records from the first issue:
Where do you live? What are your favorite things to do there?
I currently live in Los Angeles. Most of my time is spent in bookstores (Skylight and Family books) or the Pacific Ocean (surfing).
here’s some more of chrissy’s work:
tomboy photographer into music, bookstores and surfing? a girl after my own heart :) check out her website here, and view our december catalog here.
we’re doing another giveaway – this time on twitter!
a lot of you have been asking about the amazing saddle bag on the back of the motorcycle on the cover of our december catalog. this one of a kind piece was made in india, using the same antique quilts used in many of our store displays and embellished with studs and leather fringe. this bag has seen some wear and tear but that just makes it look even cooler! can you imagine having this on the back of your bike?!?
to win all you have to do is head over to our twitter page and tweet a story or memory involving a motorcycle @ us with this link: http://ow.ly/3kGYq. if you don’t already, make sure you follow us on twitter so you don’t miss out on fun stuff like this!
i thought this one was pretty cute:
“im secretly in love with my boyfriend’s motorcycle & i pretend to ride it while it’s stationed in the garage.”
the winner will be selected at random on friday. good luck!
when we launched our holiday boutiques this month, i told you guys about a special section for blogger picks, featuring jemma and my favorite items. well today i wanted to share some new additions- we asked a few of our favorite bloggers to pick their favorites as well – here they are!
chantal of cocorosa – i’ve been following her blog for a while now but i had the pleasure of meeting her a few months ago and she is seriously adorable! if you want to know what she’s like check out this video on her blog. i love people who don’t take themselves too seriously! and she always looks amazing- i think she can pull of any look!
we met dylana of nana in wonderland when we worked with her and her sister natalie on our october catalog, and we fell in love with both of them! her style is a lovely combination of classic and vintage with a modern twist. she’s also a great photographer and she can play guitar and sing!
gemma of fade to black – i’ve been hooked on her blog ever since i discovered it! she has amazing style – like bohemian meets new york cool. and she’s got serious artistic talent- check out the dreamcatcher she drew!
as a vegetarian, i often find myself in a bit of a conundrum when it comes to some clothing. i love the look and feel of leather jackets, and lately i’ve been thinking about purchasing one, but a part of me always feels guilty. am i a true vegetarian if i wear a leather jacket? is that hypocritical? sure i could buy a fake leather jacket…but they never seem to look as cool as the real ones.
the battalion has come along and solved my problem, by creating “vegan” leather pants and jackets that look just as good as, or better than, the real thing. i decided to find out a little bit more about the company and wow…i am in love.
the battalion specializes in knits and woven fabrics that are eco-friendly, primarily rayon, bamboo, organic cotton, promodal, recycled polyester, veggie fur, veggie leather, and cruelty free “peace” silk.
here’s a brief interview with battalion founder linda wong!
What inspired you to start the battalion?
I see clothes as something more than adornment of oneself but as the foundation of one’s creativity and personal expression. I started The Battalion as a vehicle to communicate that vision.
Have you always been passionate about fashion and designing? How would you describe your personal style?
My first love is drawing and creating. As I acquired the technical skills of clothes making, I fell in love with fashion design. My style is exactly like how I design. It has to be comfortable but not boring. It is relevant to popular and sub cultures, and full of narratives
What environmental issue are you most passionate about?
The Battalion is a member of The Nature Conservancy and 1% for the Planet. We are passionate about preserving nature. We also recognize that in order to make a fundamental difference with environmental issues, we have to encourage the right environmental policies to be in place. We mobilize our fans via twitter, facebook to get out the vote for all issues that will better our environment. Lastly and most importantly, we are promoting the benefits of wearing faux fur. It is not only ethical, but it is more beautiful and alluring to wear something where no animals were hurt in the process.
Battalion AW10 inspiration board
I read that the inspiration for the AW10 collection is landscape, desert and a wolf named Indio. Can you explain this a little bit more?
Years ago, my design partner worked in the costume department of one of Wim Wenders movies. His movies were known for it’s beautiful imageries of Americana. Recently I found a road atlas he left behind with detailed notes of routes he had taken during the scout. So we went on a road trip, following the routes from Los Angeles, to Palm Desert, through Las Vegas, up to Monument Valley in Utah and down to Sedona, Arizona. The collection is the reflection of our epic trip. And yes, we met a wolf name Indio in the desert whom inspired our expanded faux fur collection.
What’s next for the battalion? Is there anything you can share that you’re working on now and are really excited about?
For Spring 2011 we have some beautiful hand crochet pieces that are made in a very new way. Instead if using yarns, we crochet our ultra soft and light weight jersey fabrics.
The results are beautiful and delicate looking tops and dresses with self-crochet details.We are also making new versions of our best seller, The Battalion knit pants with buckle trims, motorcycle details, and some secret ingredients. More to come!
view the battalion items available at freepeople.com here.
one of our fans reached out to us on facebook to share her connection with free people, and had this to say:
“I just wanted to say that I personally love the free people philosophies. Not many clothing brands tend to inspire you as a “person” but free people does a great job at inspiring their consumers, daily. Through the art and photography in the catalogs, to the clothing materials themselves, they allow you to DREAM to be the person you feel you are to be, without restraint, without holding back, to have the FREEdom to be who you are, and for that to be a beautiful thing. To live and love in the moment. To dare to be more with your life and to not worry about what others may perceive. Be you, be beautiful (that is my personal motto) and I believe free people does a wonderful job capturing that specific essence. Great job. Much love, Candice.”
that is what it’s all about! thank you for the inspiring words, candice, it means so much to us. xoxo.