Post image for january catalog drops tomorrow!

our january catalog was shot in prague and it is beautiful!  i’m really excited about it, and i have tons of photos our team took while they were over there shooting that i’ll be sharing with you on the blog throughout the month!

here’s a preview of what you’ll see in the catalog…

you can also check out the whole thing online, here!

Post image for monday quote

“the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”
– marcel proust

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tp -Jan 11, 2010, 2:02PM
another great quote!! thanks

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Post image for kassia meador

how awesome are these photos by kassia meador? they are part of a show opening today in los angeles called “put your finger on the button,” comprised of all female photographers.   if you’re not familiar with kassia, in addition to being skilled with a camera, she’s also a professional surfer…and she was cool enough to answer some questions for the blog!

read on to learn more about how she got started with photography, and check out some of the brand new photos she sent me below.

how long have you been interested in photography?
i’ve been traveling the world as a professional surfer since i was 17. my family always wanted to see where i was going and what i was up to so i’d shoot photos along the way. when i was 20 i got a super bad injury that kept me out of the water for almost a full year. during that time i took some online photo classes to just learn a bit more. since then i have been shooting more and more. it wasnt ’till last year when a good friend and mentor thomas campbell saw a few of my photos and was like “yo you should show people some of your work.” he helped me edit some images and i was invited to show some work in japan for their greenroom festival. since then i have had a few shows in california and nyc. i just recently shot my first fashion story for foam magazine and am planning a shoot for their next issue. super jazzed to be shooting as much as possible and excited to see where it all goes…”

is photography more of a hobby for you or do you see it becoming a profession as well?
“it is something i love to do just like surfing. but surfing not only was my first love it also became my profession. photography is a bit like that for me as well…i really love it and am so passionate about making images that make people feel something. i’m working on shooting lil fashion stories now and i’m really into it so we’ll see where it leads.”

what inspires you on a daily basis?
“my friends, family, environment and traveling.”

who are your heroes?
“i got a lot of heroes. but some people who are super inspirational to me on a photography level are thomas campbell, david mushegain, michael halsband, and ellen von unwerth”

(we love david mushegain too! he shot our december catalog – check out our post on him here.)

and now, check out these incredible photos kassia shot on new year’s morning.  the project is titled “MARS…A NEW DAY A NEW DAWN,” which she describes it as “just a fresh perspective on a new year and all that lies ahead”

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for more info on the show, click here, and to check out more of her awesome work click here.

thank you so much kassia, we think you’re rad!!

Post image for happy friday from the office pups!

jagger is stylin in his sgt. pooch hoodie…he’s a little camera shy though!

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indiana jones chilling in his home away from home, the print & color area.

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fritz shows off his sweet orange sweater…

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sam poses for the camera!

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blue woke up from her nap to say hello…

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aren’t her eyes the coolest?

Mushroom Moon -Jan 08, 2010, 7:45PM
Hi FP! I love this post. What type of dog is Indiana Jones?

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om

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i’ve been thinking about doing a yoga retreat sometime this year, but with so many options out there its really hard to pick one! i just found this one today and it looks pretty awesome…it’s the om yoga and meditation retreat in costa rica…i mean can you imagine doing yoga in that room pictured above, with ocean views?

the retreat takes place february 6 – 13 at the blue spirit retreat center on the beach of nosara.  in addition to practicing yoga and meditation, you can participate in other activites like swimming, surfing, horseback riding, deep water fishing and more…all in a relaxing, beautiful setting. sounds good to me…

what do you guys think? do you know of any other cool yoga retreats?

Robert Smith -Jan 24, 2013, 4:17AM
Great post here, thanks for sharing this informative information..!!
-Jan 13, 2010, 5:22PM
nom nom nom

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Post image for a cry for help

i really wish i could go to this exhibit! it’s called “a cry for help” and it’s a special benefit exhibit opening friday at the thinkspace gallery in los angeles.  part of the proceeds from the exhibit will go to born free usa to help endangered species.

not only is it for a great cause, the artwork looks awesome…plus, they’ll have special animal adoptions during opening weekend!  if you’re unable to adopt an animal, they will also be accepting donations of old blankets and beds for shelters so that animals don’t have to sleep on cold concrete floors, as well as any treats, toys, leashes, collars, etc. that you can spare.

if any of you go let me know what you think!

heiko mueller

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liz brizzi

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tessar lo

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mari inukai

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jason limon

by the way i definitely recommend checking out the websites of the above artists…their work is amazing. for more info on the show click here.

Post image for guest blog post!

good morning! i’m really excited to bring you a guest blog post from andrea of the blog fly, who also happens to be the artist behind our hand drawn floral converse!  read on to learn about where she drew her inspiration for the shoes.

When I was approached by Free People to use my doodle-style illustrations for a small run of sneakers I immediately thought of flower gardens. Aside from the feminine elements that can be associated with Free People and flowers, I really liked the idea of an eclectic garden of quirks and fun, much how I see the brand.

Over the years I’ve collected tons of vintage fabric swatches and ephemera (like magazine clippings and wallpaper scraps) featuring various forms of floral designs. I particularly like to use Secondhand Rose wallpaper swatches and William Morris’ floral designs for references. Using all these elements for inspiration I developed little clusters of tiny flowers, abstract roses, and dingbats to create the doodles for the shoes.

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thanks so much andrea, we love your shoes!

UK Clothing -Jan 20, 2010, 1:33AM
Thanks for introducing her work here , She is doing very well and I strongly believe in a fact that only those people deserve success who dare to innovate cuz innovation demands too much hard work to create a thing no one knows before. Visit you again, Good Luck for ALL !
Gloria -Jan 11, 2010, 12:56PM
I love her blog and I did wonder how her design and her collaboration with Free People came to be because she posted her design on her design blog. :)

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Post image for there ain’t no party like a free people party

another birthday today – this time for our visual display & store design manager!

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the birthday girl gets crowned…

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and yes, the people magazine was a joke…

fp julia -Jan 07, 2010, 2:11PM
jessica- she works here at the home office but she works very closely with the stores! kat - yes it is! one of the girls here at the office made it and it was amaaaazing!
kat -Jan 07, 2010, 1:59PM
is that monkey/gorilla bread for dessert? i love it! it's a holiday tradition my sister & i started together. looks beautiful and tastes incredible.

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dreamscapes

one of my friends here at the office told me about the artist kia neill, who makes these amazing installations of environments that are mysterious and magical.  using found materials, and lots of glitter, she creates worlds that you thought only existed in your imagination.  if you’re in the austin, texas, area, i highly recommend checking out these incredible environments at her show “terrain,” at the women & their work gallery january 16 – february 25.  kia was also kind enough to answer some questions for me about her work:

what was the inspiration behind the installations in the “terrain” exhibit?
“‘terrain’ is actually the continuation of a series of previous installations. with each installation the environment grows and is reconfigured. most previous to ‘terrain,’ i created ‘grotto’ at lawndale art center in houston, tx. the installation was a sparkly cavernous environment the viewer entered immediately upon exiting the elevator on the second floor. it was as though the viewer was enclosed in a gigantic geode. A geode is actually a good analogy for my work as with my synthetic versions of nature i want to create the experience one hopes to have. for instance if you’ve ever gotten one of the ‘break your own’ geodes, it’s a boring rock on the outside and you’re told it’s full of sparkly crystals on the inside. you fantasize about what’s inside, then you open it, and it’s never exciting as you imagined it to be. my work is what you imagined.”

“here’s a bit of my artist statement, which explains more:
i am drawn to extraordinary, almost extraterrestrial landscapes, such as caves and coral reefs, as well as the diorama of miniature collectable counterparts that serve in household aquariums, gardens, souvenir cases, etc…with my installations, i attempt to produce an environment that reifies metaphysical association and fantasy that such spectacular and bizarre landscapes can induce. my aim is not a realistic replication of nature, but to place emphasis on gaudy or absurd embellishment so to render an enhanced synthetic ideal.”

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what materials do you use to create the installations?
“cost effective and found. mostly paper mache, holiday lights, and i construct the crystals from cds i’ve cut and glued together. and of course, glitter, amongst other misc. craft material. i love hobby lobby, i really should be their spokesperson.”

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you also do intricate graphite drawings…what is your favorite medium to work with?
“hmm….that’s hard. i’ve worked with all kinds. drawing, painting, ceramics, digital imaging, animation, etc…i think no matter what medium i work in, i always have conceptually sculptural approach, even if it’s a flat 2dimensional image. though, i do love glitter, i love how it gets all over everything! it’s like residue or evidence! i also like working with flocking, which is a short thin fiber that when applied gives a velvet surface. that’s very fun.”

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what artists have inspired you?
“so many different artists have influenced me over the years, but i mostly look to everyday culture for inspiration. for years i have been fascinated by holiday decorations, kitsch, and all kinds of gaudy fake flower arrangements and home décor, especially those covered in glitter. my attraction to the aesthetic continually increases, i wouldn’t be surprised if my skin started to take on a gold plated tinge one of these days!”

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if you weren’t an artist, what would you do?
“dance, cook, sing…maybe be a geologist. who knows, art is all i’ve ever done. my family are all artists, so i’ve been surrounded by art since i was a little girl.”

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check out more of kia neill’s work on her website!

Rachel -Jan 15, 2010, 11:42AM
Kia Neill has a solo show at Women & Their Work Gallery in Austin. Opening Jan 16, 6-8pm. The show "Terrain" is open until Feb. 27th. Come by and see it if you can.
Rocio -Jan 06, 2010, 8:36PM
WOW!!! thats amazing. Is too bad that is so far.

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Post image for be a whistle blower for peace

the new year is a time to make resolutions, and to think about your goals for the year ahead.  one thing we’re thinking about here at free people are what causes we feel most strongly about and would like make an effort to support.  there are so many important causes out there, ranging from the environment and poverty to animal and human rights.  one of the girls here at the office told me about falling whistles, an organization dedicated to helping children affected by war in the democratic republic of congo and raising awareness to bring peace to the war-torn country.  i was incredibly moved by the story… check out the video:

Falling Whistles – Be a Whistleblower for Peace in Congo from Falling Whistles on Vimeo.

you can read more about falling whistles here.

at the very least, we would like to help bring attention to important causes, and we hope to work harder to find ways to do more… and we would like to know what causes you, our readers, are most passionate about to make sure that we are aware. please tell us about it in the comments section!

aswelove -Jan 07, 2010, 3:11PM
If you think this is good, I highly recommend you check out InvisibleChildren.com. Stellar organization, incredibly sustainable work.
emily -Jan 06, 2010, 11:45PM
i bought a whistle. very powerful movement

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Post image for winter in wisconsin

the visual mit from one of our fp stores sent me these great photos taken at her home in wisconsin over the holidays…snow blowing across the lake and the reflection of trees in a foggy door.

so beautiful…thanks for sharing!

tabel20 -Jan 06, 2010, 11:56AM
great blog....
fp julia -Jan 06, 2010, 10:46AM
hi emily! you can send stuff to blog@freepeople.com!

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Post image for on the road – final post

well we have come to the end of our first book club selection, jack kerouac’s on the road.

i’ve read the book several times, but this time i really took notice of the writing style.  kerouac got a lot of criticism for his skill as a writer due to the fact that it was written in a creative burst over a span of a few weeks, in one continuous scroll.  however, the content for the book was gathered from notebooks that he kept throughout the duration of his travels, and personally i think that the hurried, frantic nature of the text perfectly suits the subject matter.  it captures the impulsiveness of the adventures that Kerouac and his friends embarked on and the freedom of being on the road without any real destination.

i leave you with this…

“our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. but no matter, the road is life.”

p.s. we’ll be picking the next book shortly, so stay tuned…

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kylie -Jan 06, 2010, 12:20PM
thanks julia! that means a lot :)
shiwa -Jan 06, 2010, 12:32AM
Hey---his writing style is what I absolutely love most about his books....so incredibly creative in the way he describes ordinary things...I've underlined and dogeared so many pages!! I'm not finished yet though... (p.s. I didn't receive my gift either..hoping it's still in the mail! How weird!)

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