Doe Run Farm

Last week I was lucky enough to go on a phenomenal field trip with other Free People and Urban Inc. interns. We were invited to visit the 400 acre Doe Run Farm in Chester County, PA. It’s almost unfair to even call the place a farm; it was more like a country oasis for animals and humans alike. We visited the cows, goats, and sheep which they house and milk for cheese. All of the cheese is made on premise. We got to see where it is made, and then for lunch we were able to try a bit for ourselves (it was amazing, of course). They also sell the cheese around local Philadelphia farmer’s markets – our farmer’s market here at the home offices sells it every other Wednesday. The farm had a beautiful pond, lots of gardens, and we got to see a bit of the luxuriously rustic house itself.

I already posted some style photos from the trip here, but checkout the rest of my photo diary from the trip. =P

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Style File: Edition 2

Meet this week’s style inspiration – the design assistant for New Romantics here at Free People. I was immediately attracted by her laid back and beautiful – yet approachable – look. I checked in on her daily to get to know her better and bring you her week in style file.

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In her romantic, somewhat demure, way of dressing she reflects her personality perfectly. She seems quiet and shy at first, but is then sweet beyond words as soon as you approach her. This is a girl who doesn’t wear outfits that shout “look at me,” but rather, “come closer.” Pay attention and you’ll notice a dainty necklace or a gorgeous etched bracelet.

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As assistant designer for the Free People New Romantics, she will be given a fabric chosen by her boss, the head designer for New Romantics, and then has to come up with styles using what she is given. The process usually starts with a sketch. Her sketches themselves are amazingly inspirational to look at. She will then drape the piece – usually doing about one a day. After she’s done draping, she will pass everything along to tech who takes it from there. This week she was already working on things for next summer.

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And now for a peek into her personal life =)

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Style File – Tuesday

It’s day two of getting to know our employee of the week, and check out how adorable she was looking today! I love the combo of the ditzy polka-dot shirt underneath a girly denim romper.  She looks innocent and flirty all at the same time. Definitely a Candy/Meadow combo just like she said…

Aside from checking out what she was wearing, I wanted to know what she was working on today. Essentially, she’s the one that makes sure you can all find what you’re looking for on our site, and today she’s working furiously to get all of the product from our July catalog (which also drops today!) up on the website.

She goes through, page by page, merchandising the clothing and accessories into their relevant categories for the web. We’re moving into fall already, so she notices missing categories as she goes along, and makes a note to have them added in later. This needs to be done in correspondence with every catalog, look book, blog post – anything that links to clothing someone might want to buy.

I have to say, it sounds tedious, but I’m incredibly grateful to this pretty lady for all her hard work – it means I have an even easier time of filling my closet with Free People clothes… Whoops =P

Weekend Getaway: The Adirondacks

Summer is the perfect time to plan those weekend getaways, and our country is full of great escapes to explore. Last week I headed up north to camp in the Adirondack Mountains – a perfect getaway destination. The mountains, rivers, and lakes are immediately relaxing. We set up camp in Wilmington, NY right near Whiteface Mountain and Lake Placid. It was the perfect spot to explore the village of Lake Placid and to get in good hiking and fishing. The town is full of cute shops, Olympics memorabilia, nice people, and even a pile of snow they keep year round. We shopped local specialties to picnic and grill (look out for this weekend’s recipe!) You can even bring your dog into most places, so bring the trusty friend along if you go. I had Abigail, and she had a blast getting down and dirty in the mountains. One day we hiked Whiteface, the tallest mountain in the region. She made it the whole way =). I highly recommend the challenge if you’re up to it. The view and sense of accomplishment are surreal and invigorating.

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My beer, the Ubu Ale, was named after a local legendary dog =)

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Abigail, always thinking she’s the star of the show…

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Almost to the top!

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“climbing mountains is hard work, give me food!”

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It’s not often you get to enjoy nighttime in the middle of the woods – talk about a getaway…

Brimfield Photo Diary

Some of our buyers have just come back from Brimfield’s one of the world’s largest flea markets. It’s in Massachusetts and happens 3 times a year May 8-13, July 10-15, and September 4-9.

Here are some pictures they took and wanted to share with you!

It’s unbelievable the amount of great things you can find there with so much history and stories behind them.

Have any of you guys been?

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guest blog post: brooklyn hawaii

brooke dombroski is a photographer and designer who lives in hawaii, on the island of oahu where our may catalog was shot.  the second i saw her tumblr, brooklyn hawaii, i was completely enthralled with her laid-back surfer girl lifestyle – and brooke was kind enough to share some photos with the blog to give us a little peek into her life in hawaii! needless to say, i am beyond jealous…

Location: North Shore of O’ahu, Hawai’i
A 7-mile stretch of the best waves in the world!

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What I love about living in Hawai’i:
We are the most isolated island chain.
Life is so simple. Nature can keep us entertained for a lifetime!
Surf + Sand + ROAM + Shells + Waterfalls + Crush Sunglasses + Bare feet + Hand-sewn Bikinis + Coconut water + Fresh fish + Mountains + Ocean + Sun + Friends + Ohana (Family) + ALOHA

be sure to check out her beautiful tumblr here: www.brooklynhawaii.com

guest blog post: the gold coast

australia’s gold coast is located in south east queensland, on the country’s eastern shore. with 35 miles of coastline that includes some of the most popular surf breaks in australia and the world, the area has been a huge draw for both tourists and surfers all over the world. it was also inspiration for a special shop launching today on our website that is our nod to surfer girls everywhere – denim shorts in bright colors, easy knits, bathing suits, summery shoes and pops of neon, its a collection that screams summer fun and adventure.

for her second guest post for us, mandy of the amazing blog oracle fox went down to the gold coast and took some beautiful photos to capture the atmosphere there. i am thinking a trip to australia is definitely in order!

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all images by oracle fox – thank you so much mandy!

and here’s a little collection i made inspired by the gold coast. click on the image to go see more details, and check out our gold coast shop here.

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with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair

when i first saw our may catalog photos, my eyes were immediately drawn to the amazing floral headpieces on the models.  this type of lei is called a haku lei, and they typically have a base of braided leaves into which other plants and flowers are woven, and are worn on the head or around the wrist or ankle. Read More

Australia Guest Blogger: Lauren Brooks

My love letter to Cafe Bouquineste

I love this coffee shop so much so I get on my bike, Ida Flower, and cycle a 30 minute bike ride along the Brisbane river just so I can hide myself away in the hub of this beautiful cafe.
Coffee that comes out so pretty with love hearts in the milk, home made cup cakes and the most scrumptious eggs you could ever ask for. Borrow a book and settle in. Perfect place for people watching and making new friends.
People flock here why? Because Meridith the owner gives you a little taste of home, a place that is kooky and cosy and makes you want to keep popping back in for more.
My favorite place to just waste time and day dream the hours away x

Her blog Baumbach

what’s in your bag?

have you guys seen our new accessories page on our website? our team put together bags for the lou, ginger, sandy and meadow girls and they are so cute! they inspired me to do another edition of the “what’s in your bag” post – here’s a peek inside the bags of some home office gals – and guy :)

store manager/recruiter:

retail operations coordinator:
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new store openings/store coordinator:
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she actually really did have a free people bathing suit in her bag :)

campaign specialist:
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web marketing analyst:
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direct operations coordinator:
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direct operations manager:
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i love seeing how different they all are!

you can view what’s in lou, ginger, sandy and meadow’s bags here.

Meet our Art Director

I caught up with this beautiful lady to find out what she’s inspired by right now as she moves into her new role of Art Director. She’s the lovely lady that works in our studio creating, along with the associate stylists, the beautiful looks on our web. She also comes up with some of the catalog concepts along with our creative director.

Her knowledge and vision, mixed with her exquisite taste are pretty inspiring.

What has been your most memorable fashion moment and why?

 I think the most memorable moment related to FP and fashion has do to w/ a shoot we did in Morocco last year. We drove 13 hrs into the Sahara desert, about 3 km from the border of Algeria- and stayed with a Bedouin tribe in tents in the dunes. The first night was unbearably warm , so the team decided to pull our mattresses out of our tents and sleep under the stars for the remainder of the trip. Our Norwegian photographer and Swedish model sang us Scandinavian lullabies, and our hairstylist told us stories that made us laugh so hard we cried. We slept like starfish with our heads together and our feet pointed outward. All beneath the Saharan moonlight – the whole thing was pretty surreal and magical.  Doing cannon balls off of sand dunes wasn’t so bad either.

 When are you happiest?

 I think there are so many different kinds of happiness – I am the happiest when I arrive in a new country or city I’ve never been to before- I find newness/ new experiences completely exhilarating.

I am happiest when I am filled with hope and anticipation about a new project – I’m a total Pisces, always dreaming about what’s to come.

I am happiest when I find a new book that I can’t put down.

I am happiest in Paris.

 What is the one habit you just can’t break?

 It’s not a habit, but every time I travel the contents of my toiletries bag spill all over the place. I am a total klutz- an unbreakable habit. No matter how tight I close the lids of my makeup, shampoo, etc – they will find a way to open. I am undeniably prone to spills and stains.

 Who are your style influences and why?

 I think my personal style is very different than the style I am attracted to…  Anita Pallenberg, Mick Jagger, Zelda Fitzgerald, Brigitte Bardot, Ingrid Bergman, Marianne Faithful, Bob Dylan, Lauren Hutton, Kate Moss, Katherine Hepburn are all people whose style I am so inspired by – but don’t necessarily try to adapt for myself.  I also love the instant gratification of street style blogs – I’ve had many mornings when I’ve had a difficult time getting dressed, checked out some blogs, and completely reinterpreted (knocked off) someone else’s awesome outfit. Like instructions on a lazy day.

 What are you currently obsessed with?

 I am taking French lessons through Skype – no excuses to not show up for lessons!

The Hunger Games trilogy, a young adult series recommended by a friend this weekend. Kind of a speed reading nerd, I read two of the series in one day.

Photography by a friend, David Bellemere. His work is rich,  architectural, sexy and totally inspiring- Hoping  FP will be working with him soon!

 The last movie I watched was…

 Last weekend I went to my friends new apt in Brooklyn and  watched a film called Micmacs by Jean Pierre Jeunet. We ate gummy bears and peanut butter m&ms at 10 am and watched the movie.  It was kooky and fantastical.

 My favorite food is…

 I think the ritual I am most in love with is a coffee first thing in the morning, though not necessarily any food in particular.

 My biggest indulgence in life is…

  Facials! I love them.

  My wardrobe consists of…

 My style is simple but romantic- high-waisted trousers, lots of silk and chiffon, menswear, vintage, and some core pieces I wear all the time.  I am definitely a proponent of investing in items you think you will wear forever. I am curvy, and I definitely tailor my style to what works for my body shape- I think that’s a huge part of feeling confident in your style… Knowing what works, what doesn’t, and embracing that! ( Easier said than done, I know, especially when you fall in love with a style or silhouette that isn’t the best for your shape.)