Our accessories designer has just returned from a month of travelling in India and Hong Kong. She brought back all of these amazing trims and ribbons to use for inspiration. They all looked so great together, so her team made this cool display and hung them on the wall in their office. Don’t you just love the huge pompoms?
I was deleting photos on my camera and found these shots I took at a trend meeting last year. This is when the designers were first starting to think about the India and Africa trends that have been our past two design concepts. Everyone on the design team brought in inspiration that related to the themes. Some brought fabrics, some vintage garments, magazine tears, accessories picked up on travels… Someone even brought in some paintings they did while in school! This is just the start of the long development processs they go through when working out new concepts. Thought you’d like to see a little peek!
So there were seriously eight different FP employees in the home office yesterday wearing blue and white stripes. How ridiculous is that? And yes, we have an FP man! He merchandises the stores!
And about the swap…
There are just under 200 people signed up! woohoo! Thanks to all you bloggers that spread the word! So I’m gonna match up partners and email you info. There are about 10 people that didn’t leave me your email address! If your name is listed, (I left out your last name for security or whatever) please comment with your email. I won’t post the comments… This is gonna be fun.
Cody F (male swapper! woohoo! he did the vday swap and the poor guy received a necklace, so this time I’ll let his partner know he’s an FP man…)
This is the desk of Heather. She is the Free People Direct Operations Supervisor. She works in the home office and oversees the distribution center and customer service concerns that require the above and beyond. She likes to keep her stuffed creatures in a jar.
Most of these little Mexican icons were gifts bought at the Eyes Gallery on South Street in Philly. The last piece on the right was a college art project titled “Good Girls & Bad Girls”.
And Heather’s in a scooter club. I use to wonder why she came into work in the morning wearing a helmet…
I promised to share a couple of books that were really inspiring to the creative team while working on April’s catalog. The first is called “Zara’s Tales” , a memoir about Peter Beard’s adventures in Africa and dedicated to his daughter, Zara. Beard’s beautiful photography and drawings are scattered throughout.
The second is called “The Jouney is the Destination: The Journals of Dan Eldon“. Dan was an accomplished photo journalist by the age of 22 and was also a fantastic artist, combining collage techniques with his amazing photographs. This book was compiled from several scrap books he kept and his family assembled after his tragic death at 22, when Dan Eldon was working in extremely dangerous conditions in Mogadishu. A truly inspiring man of passion and talent. I recommend you check out this website “An Electronic Revolution” inspired by his life and work.
This is Kate’s desk. Kate is the Web Production Manager. That means she makes the website go. She is the keeper of all things website related. One of Kate’s favorite objects on her desk is this Hawaii “snowglobe” that doubles as a calendar. This is not to remind her of a fabulous time she had on vacation. She actually received it as a gift from a friend that got it at an Urban Outfitters sample sale.
Kate also loves this mug. Her college roommate moved out and forgot to bring it along. Who’s the #1 Jerk now???
Thought I’d give you guys the inside scoop…Free People is looking for creative talent for intimates design and accessories. Wanna work for Free People? Apply online here.
P.S. Keep in mind we are based in Philadelphia.
The new store display was designed around 3 different materials: a mix of bamboo, cotton rope, and grass mats. The grass mats are from India and made of strips of bamboo. The patterns were inspired by fabrics our Visual Director bought in Tanzinia on a safari and some fabrics the accessories team designed with. The display team reinterpreted the prints into these big crazy versions and hand painted the mats.
The rope was ordered in bulk (72,000 feet!) and half was hand dyed by the display team in their workspace. You should see the floor now, it’s turned green from all the dyeing! They got smart and had the other half professionally dyed by a company in Philly.
They had the bamboo delivered from India, and when it arrived it was totally covered in mold! The display team hand bleached and scrubbed every piece. These girls work hard for their displays…
And they get thirsty while they work, so don’t mind the mess. But their work totally pays off, right? It looks so beautiful.
Cassie is 12 years old and a huge fan of Free People. Lucky for her, she also happens to be the cousin of our Art Director, Doub, who welcomed her to spend a day with the FP design team. Check out how talented she is! Using bits of things around the office for inspiration, her ideas started flowing. These are just a few… Doub better watch out, Cassie might take over!
I mentioned how friends and gifts seemed to be major themes for the FP crew when it comes to their workspace. These objects are favorites of Elsa, the Free People Direct Assistant Image Coordinator. That means she works on the creative team for the website, coordinating the photographers, the models, the photos, etc.
The picture above is a gift from a Free People employee. Elsa uses it to store her business cards. The dog is chalkware, a common object in the 1930′s given away as prizes at the circus and carnivals.
She also keeps these goggles that were a gift brought back from Tibet. They were supposedly used for climbing mountains.
And the best part is, they fold up into this amazing little leather case!
Two of our Free People designers were just in India vistiting one of our factories. Our friends at the factory prepared a special Holi celebration for them, as they were leaving the country on the day of Holi. This is known as the “festival of colors” celebrating the start of Spring as well as marking ancient religious events. As they dance, they cover each other in colored powders, symbolically letting go of their differences while they wash each other in this color. So check out the video, it looks like the girls had an incredible experience!
On a side note, you’ll see a lot more info about India in the next week. Who’s ready for the new FP catalog?