Our April catalog drops today! Here’s a little about the shoot from our creative director…
Our April book was based on a trend called “Mayan”, taking typical print/color palettes of that culture and translating them into modern silhouettes.
We’ve had great success working in Mexico in the past (January 08 book), so we decided to head back. This time, our production scout, Dominique took the team to Tulum…about an hour’s drive or so from Merida, where we’ve done most of our shooting up until this point. Tulum was gorgeous…white sand, green-blue ocean, teeming with lots of nomadic, free-spirited folks (including the guy on pg 6 and 13).
Most of our beach shots were taken there; the rest were taken on the road, driving to and from that location.
Very spontaneous shoot…and one of our favorites so far.
P.S. The headdress on the front cover was actually purchased in the Houston, TX airport. Winds forced our plane down, and the team wasn’t able to make its connecting flight to Merida…so we hung out for a long time, waiting for our luggage, and found this. Not Mayan, necessarily, but made for an awesome prop. :)
Our April catalog drops today! Here’s a little about the shoot from our creative director…
One of our soft wovens designers, Alissa, gave us some details to share on two styles she worked on.
Alissa’s Ikat Dress was inspired by an Indian purse. The designer incorporated the look of the embroidery used on the bag into the dress details. The dress was named after the designer!
The floral design on the Gauze Embroidered Waist Top was hand drawn by Alissa. The design was inspired by pictures she found in a botany book.
Meet Indiana Jones. Indie is a sweet boy who plays nicely with all of the other Free People dogs and comes to work almost every day.
Indie belongs to Erin, who is the Associate Designer for Prints and Colors. This means that Erin and Indie work on the print artwork for all Free People apparel. They also help to choose and name the colors for each item for every season. So if you love the print on your favorite Free People dress or shirt, chances are Indie and Erin had something to do with it.
Name: Indiana Jones
Nickname: Indie, Monster, Dr. Jones
Breed: Catahoula Leopard mix (seriously, it’s a real dog. If you don’t believe me, look up the state dog of Louisiana)
Likes: Running, running, and running.
Dislikes: People who step on his tail, people who take his trashcan, and mailmen (of course)
Favorite friends: He has an awful lot of friends, but I think his favorites are probably Rosie (an American Bull Dog), Keegan (a Black Lab), Dave (Manager of Free People Direct) and Mary Ellen (Senior Designer for Color and Prints.)
How did you meet Indie: We rescued him from a shelter in Philadelphia. I just wanted to pet him, because he looked so cute and I ended up taking him home :)
Anything else you want to share: Indie loves working at FP! Sometimes when we leave at night he won’t get in the car! He just keeps running back to the front doors!
Four new stores in the next month! Palo Alto, Canoga Park, Carlbad and Glendale CA.
Courtney and Lizzy made some beautiful marbled papers for our “trend walls.” As the designers are developing a trend, they designate a wall in the hallway where they post all kinds of inspirational images, artwork, magazine tears, trims, etc. You’ll have to wait a few months to see what comes of the trend with the marbled colors… The painting sure looks like fun though!
Here are some of the supplies and tips:
Paper was from Pearl Paint
Big white tub was from Ikea
The marbling kit was from Pearl too.
Innovative Marbling Suminagashi Dye Ink Set:
6 colors, in 12 ml. tubes and it comes with instructions!!
The girls put a little baby oil (does not come in the set) in the water too, just to make it more interesting. Wherever the oil is, the paper will remain white.
Check out the comments from an expert marbler for some more tips…
FP President, Meg recently bought a puppy from a lovely young girl in Canada named Sherry. Sherry’s other passion happens to be Gypsy Vanner horses, and their story is pretty neat, so we thought we’d share. Sherry explained to Meg that Gypsy Vanner horses were used by the gypsy people to pull their caravans. They are one of the rarest horses in North America. There are only 2 breeders in all of Ontario but they are more popular in the states. Check out this youtube video Sherry made for some more info…
Have you heard of uber? It’s like a blogging platform or social networking similar to MySpace where you can post photos, write blog entries and stream music. The difference is, it’s really customizable and much easier to design your pages without using code or sticking with really basic templates. You can just drag and drop your options in. The result is some really great looking sites. And a new place to find some great design blogs, like Crafty Ideas by Benny and Kelly for instance
We have this amazing collection of vintage sunglasses acquired from Selima Optique, the famous luxury eyeglass boutiques from LA, NY and Paris. Each pair is original and in pristine condition. Check out shades by Dior, Lacoste, Dunhill, and Vuarnet. There are also these sweet color-changing Chameleon sunglasses in assorted colors. Check them all out here.
*First name: Luren
*How long have you worked at Free People? Close to 2 years
*Tell me about your job: I draw on the walls at the new Free People stores during the openings, mostly in the fitting rooms. I design the seasonal visual display that goes to all the stores with my team, which means looking everywhere for inspiration, shopping in thrift stores, trying things out here in our studio, and seeing through production of anything that we make overseas. And I work on the designs for the packaging (the fabric shopping bags you get when you buy clothes at a Free People store).
*What do you like best about working at FP? I get a lot of creative freedom and responsibility, which is exciting because we get to be the face of the retail side of the brand–the part that people see when they’re wandering down the street or shopping in the mall. We get to make really inspirational, special setups in the store that get people using their imaginations and staying in the stores to look at everything we did to make it special, and that gets them to look at the amazing clothes!
Favorite FP items. Why? We The Free! The Relaxed Pullover Hoodie and the We the Free Short Sleeve Rugby Stripe. Anything from WE THE FREE. Looking forward to all the new products that are about to drop.
Tell me about your dog. I LOVE ALL DOGS. But I can’t have my own because I travel all the time for work and to explore the world. So I get to love all the dogs around the Navy Yard, without getting to spoil just one with all my attention. But IDA lives in my house, so she’s my most favorite!
What do you do when not at work? I design textiles, run a gallery and a gallery store which sells artist-made products with some friends, tie-dye old clothes in my yard, cook, grow vegetables in my garden, draw, travel, and I just wrote a book about screenprinting at home called Print Liberation .
What do you like best about Philly? I love Philadelphia. It’s a really easy place to do your own thing. You’re not in the world spotlight like you are in cities like NYC and LA so the pressure is off and people get to dig their heels in the ground and do what they feel passionate about. Which means people are more real and more straightforward. It’s cheap, so your life isn’t on the line if you screw up. People are hardworking and inspired.
Anything else? Picture credit: Mike Wilkes
Note: in pictures I’m in India working on display production, and wearing a free people burnout shirt
Check out this amazing beagle birthday cake that Jill (the Training Manager at the Customer Service Call Center) received for her birthday. It was actually made by her husband Pablo, who works in the South Carolina fulfillment center where all Free People orders are shipped from. Pretty impressive. The design was likely inspired by Pablo and Jill’s dog Baylee, who they found roaming around the woods near the South Carolina facility. The beagle and doghouse are made of marshmallows!
We are going to do some spotlights of Free People stores, so you can get to know a little bit about each one. The first entry is from our very first Free People store! Here is what the girls had to say…
Where is your store located? Garden State Plaza Mall, Paramus NJ
How many people work in your store? 5 Managers, 12 Sales Associates.
What is the weather like? Well right now it’s still cold, but we are all anxiously waiting for Spring to come!!!
What is the best thing for lunch in the area? One of our sales associate’s parents’ has a deli/market…Morano’s!!
What is your favorite piece in the store right now? The Cherry Blossom Dress..it is made of great fabric and has an amazing fit on everyone!!
How are people wearing this piece? Either by itself or looks really cute w/ skinny jeans or leggings
What is your favorite local treat? We love Ritas or Ralph’s Italian ice especially now in the spring and summer and Starbucks drinks!
What does the FP Girl do for fun? Go out with her friends to the mall, movies, bars
What else do you want us to know about your store? We all have a great time working with each other and provide GREAT customer service to all our customers!!! We all really love the brand and have so much fun working here!!