Thursday Poll:January Lookbook

This January, we traveled to Palm Springs, CA to shoot our lookbook with Alexandra Spencer of 4th and Bleeker. In the book, she takes on the look of a domesticated 70’s wild child as she hangs by the pool and goes about her day in a 70’s ranch style home. The looks are filled with stacked sandals, flowing bohemian prints and ditzy patterns elevated with hard-edged suede, sequins, and funky shades. There’s no doubt this woman is beautifully Free People. Which look is your favorite?

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Style File: Senior Graphic Designer

I’ve always thought that our Senior Graphic Designer has amazing style, but for some reason I was under the impression that she was one of those who aren’t a big fan of having their photo taken. I’ve since discovered that I was wrong, and so to make up for lack of showcasing this woman’s amazing style, I decided to feature her as this week’s Style File.

One great aspect to our Graphic Designer’s fashion is her keen eye for texture and pattern. She understands pieces, and how to show off their interesting features. For example, she’ll layer a fun color underneath to show off a top layer’s loose knit, or she’ll call attention to a bold, retro-inspired pattern by stacking it up with basics. Either way, she’s great at creating a balance so that her looks never look like too much.

I’m also a HUGE fan of this woman’s ring collection. She has a great assortment of chunky knuckle decoration full of cute animals and edgy cuts. She’s not afraid to pile on the rings, and will often pair them back to a sweet choker.

Equally as impressive, is her awesome shoe collection. She’s a big heel girl, and her shoes always have attitude. The good sturdy heel gives her look a nicely confident spin.

Overall, her wardrobe of fun pieces is gutsy and playful. It never gets boring seeing what this girl is going to wear to the office.

The Polka Dot Blouse pops perfectly with her bright red booties







Get the look with a large gauge knit like this and the a fun colored buttondown like our Sheer Buttondown Tunic in Mint Julep.






Here she updates the poncho by wearing it in a totally modern way layered over a basic button up and shorts.




Try a great choker with a collared shirt to get the look. The Tribal Triangle Collar is a great option to do it with at an easy price .








Blogger Picks: Claire Geist of DeLune Blog

The final series in our blogger picks for grunge comes from Claire Geist of DeLune Blog. She’s a little pixie redhead who you wouldn’t normally think of as a grunge girl. Because of this, she brought an interpretation to the trend that was fun to see. It felt fresh and very downtown. The ditzy print of the Floral Shirt Tail Pucker Dress came alive when she paired it with the Vegan 3 Eye Gibson Shoe and ankle socks. The result was grunge but she brought an elegant and feminine twist to the table.

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From all of the grunge items she saw that day, Claire told us which her top five must haves are for the trend: the Ramsey Oxfords, Vegan Leather Double Breasted Jacket, Tattered Flag Scarf, Caldra Layer Pullover in Sherbert, and the Cutoff Denim Vest.

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I couldn’t agree more with her choices. And now, her favorite sweet treat, what’s on her holiday wish list and other insights into Claire’s personality….

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Blogger Picks: Natalie Suarez of Natalie Off Duty

Second up on our blogger interpretation of FP grunge: Natalie Suarez

(First Photo: the O-Town Muscle Tank, M2F Cutoff Denim Vest, and Rocker Vegan Leather Pants; Second Photo: the O-Town Muscle Tank and Velvet Biker Shorts)

I think Natalie’s favorite part of grunge was the leather (and vegan leather). She went right to our vegan leather pants, and was quick to toss on the vegan vest. She paired the tough girl material with softer slouchier layers. Her take was very earthy. She stuck to the origins of Free People style, and paired it with these updated grunge pieces. In the following look she’s wearing our vegan vest along with the Crinkled Sheer Printed Jumpsuit and Double Shanghai Necklace in silver.






After the day of styling and photographing (see her other looks here and here), Natalie decided on some top picks for grunge. Her five must haves are: the Sheer Buttondown Tunic, Caldra Pullover in licorice, Academy Bodysuit, Denim Cuttoffs in Indigo, and the Rocker Vegan Leather Pant.

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We also had Natalie fill out a questionnaire. So in case you were wondering about the blogger’s eyesight, favorite fashion icon, and everything in-between – here you go:

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Blogger Picks: Christina Caradona of Trop Rouge

Grunge has been on our minds. It’s the cool revival of the 90’s with an “I don’t give an F” attitude. Washed and distressed pieces – leather and studs.  We’re channeling Alice Dellal and Kurt Cobain as we layer it on.

Last week we invited some blogger friends down to help us interpret the look. We piled all of our latest cutoff shorts, leather jackets, grunge tees, boots, and washed pieces into a display – letting them go at it: styling and telling us which items they liked best.

First up: Christina Caradona of Trop Rouge

Christina (pictured above in our Long Sleeved Mixed Graphic Baseball Tee, Gilded Santorini Collar, and her own jeans) took on the grunge trend effortlessly.  She looks like one tough chick you wouldn’t want to mess with. Perhaps, because she already has a lot of that come as you are, carelessly sexy look you need to pull it off. The clothes wore so naturally on her, making the trend surprisingly organic and hard feeling at the same time. Below she models in our We the Free Reverse it Kachow Thermal, Denim Cutoff Shorts, and Painted Distress Boot.

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After trying on and experimenting with many items, Christina tells us what her top five picks are for grunge:

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Reverse It Kachow Thermal in Lime, Marakesh Floppy Hat, Destroyed Slouchy Tee in White, Cropped Biker Jacket,  and Vegan Leather Pants

Before she left we asked Christina to fill out a questionnaire for you all. Time to let her speak for herself!

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Kitchen Confidential

At the Free People home offices we have so many amazing things available to us. One that I’m sure many employees will tell you that they’re grateful for, is the amazing food. You can either head over to our dining hall called 543 or stop at the café Jharoka – both of which offer menus that are stocked with gourmet ingredients and creative pairings. The offering includes some of the freshest ideas in the culinary world today: smoked tofu and pear chicken salad with blackberry jam and arugula on a brioche, or, for the non-vegetarians, how about a grilled flank with balsamic mushrooms, horseradish mayonnaise and spring mix on semolina hero? The people behind these masterpieces are talented chefs, baristas, sauciers – they each have a reputable background and an artistry to share.

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Meet Corbin – our 543 drink specialist who’s prepping up his magical Hangover Smoothie. FP Jemma will tell you that he steams the best cappuccino, and he’ll humbly profess that it’s what he loves to do. We talked to him while he got to work at the blender, learning all about his love of drinks and how he uses vitamin B12 to cure our post party pains.

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Where did you work before this? Before this I worked at various coffee shops, always making drinks.

And how long have you been with the company? About a year now

How did you develop this hangover recipe – was it out of necessity? Ha – not so much…I mainly just researched ingredients. It’s about trial and error – getting to know ingredients and what they’re good for. I then combine things with similar benefits to make a power house recipe with a specific benefit, like weight loss or energy.

How does this smoothie help to cure a hangover? Bananas, spinach, and B12 have a lot of potassium which will give you a big kick and make you feel good. The B12 also has great added energy benefits. The Kale is just good for everything – it’s so nutrient-rich.

Where do you get inspiration? Are there any sources you often use for research? I mainly just talk to people, I visit other juice bars, and the internet – I look a lot of things up on the internet…

What’s next? I’m going to be adding supplements to the cleanses more. So far I’ve just been making combinations with the juicer like carrot, ginger, and lemon – no water or anything added. I’m going to start putting in supplements like Spirulina and Echinacea. For the New Year there will be a whole cleansing regiment offered. Employees can pick up a package of 6 juices each day to either use as a liquid diet or to add on top of a healthy eating regimen.

Here’s how to make the hangover smoothie:

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Ingredients (Serves 2)

One handful (approx 1 cup) of Washed Spinach

4 Leaves of Washed Dinosaur Kale

2 Bananas

1 Cup of Soy Milk

4-5 Drops of Liquid B12

¾ Cup of Chopped Ice

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Put it all in the blender & drink!

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He left us with a bottle of the first batch. It was full of banana-y flavor, and although not hungover, it definitely put some pep in our step.

Inspiration: The Space We Inhabit

I love this video by Ben Wu and David Usui of Lost & Found Films about the idea of home. John Coffer’s home is beautifully imperfect. I’d love to escape to his oasis for a bit and participate in one of his wet plate workshops.

It’s so interesting how the space we inhabit really becomes an extension of us. As we change our homes change with ourselves – reflecting pastimes, values, tastes…everything. It’s “like [your] own little kingdom that [your] the boss over,” in Coffer’s words.

The video is part of a miniseries titled “This Must Be the Place.” Check out the other video on their website here.

Snapshot: Claire Oring, Los Angeles

















Lives in: a cozy apartment on the west side of LA on a hill overlooking the city. It’s decorated with antique Victorian furniture and tons of artwork all over the walls. It’s the perfect place to host tea parties, which I do on a regular basis.

Shoots with: a Canon 7D with 1.4 L series Canon Lens, a 1953 Rolleiflex and an assortment of old 35 mms and Polaroids.

Favorite Subject: I love a good heroine. I work with a lot of girls around my age because I relate to them. Adventure, magic, friendship, and gaze are themes seen throughout a lot of my work. Youth is relevant as well because I’m still so young and I feel the need to capture it. all of my settings are characters in one way or another. Nature is vital. It has a mind of its own and adds unexpected organic elements to whatever my idea is. My goal is for my photos to appear timeless so viewers are left with a nostalgic feeling. I want them to be as relatable 50 years from now as they are today.

Inspired by: Travel is one of the biggest factors. The need to be on the move and covering new ground fuels a lot of my work. I also take my dreams seriously. I analyze them and translate them into different mediums. I like to try out new visual themes and then mold them to fit my work so it stays true to what I want to say or want to feel. If I see a cool geographical location I might get really excited and try to bribe my friends into going there with me so I can photograph them. It usually doesn’t take much. I have a lot of creative friends who enjoy modeling as much as I love taking pictures.

Random fact: I once let someone play connect the dots with all the freckles on my face.

A self portrait:


View more of her amazing work on her website.

Such a beautiful and inspiring young talent. Thank you Claire!

Snapshot: Kayleigh Jordan, UK

A new feature for up and coming photographers who inspire us.



















Based in: The UK, living on and off in both England and Ireland. I am half Irish and half South African (born and raised in Durban, South Africa). Sometimes I do feel like a bit of a gypsy…

Shoots with: digital or film, depending on my mood. The first camera I ever purchased (pentax 35 mm) is the one I always return to when I get tired of using digital. I love the simplicity of it. other than that, I use my canon dslr.

Favorite subject: portraiture is my thing. I love to photograph people I meet on my travels and friends who I am exploring the world with.

Inspired by: Travel. Even if I am not venturing far I like to feel like I’m exploring somewhere new. When I’m not traveling, I sift through thousands of blogs and magazines for inspiration. I refer back to a lot of films too, mostly ones I watched as a teenager for some reason. I am drawn to photograph places with beautiful light. I think because it reminds me of home and those amazing African sunsets.

Random fact: I am terrible with directions. Whilst traveling in Italy, my friend and I made the headlines of a local newspaper – we missed our last bus home from the beach, got lost in the local town center, and arrived home very late in the evening. Our host was so worried she called the police and had most of the town searching for us. I will never forget the neighbors coming in the next morning with the paper, laughing at us while muttering something in Italian.

Go see more of her work on her flickr page and website.

july catalog: meet the photographer

it started when our creative director discovered the sisters of the black moon and began printing their lookbook photos from various tumblrs and blogs like cosmic dust and sun in scorpio, and hanging them for inspiration. she didn’t realize the photography was current- their decayed, weathered look led her to believe they were vintage 70s shots. then one day last year she received an email from the photographer, alexandra valenti, and was shocked to find that she was a living person from this time period! alexandra found us since we were working with her friend leslie crow from heyoka leather, who she also shoots with. immediately we knew we had to work with this photographer – and the rest is history!

read on for an interview with the beautiful soul alexandra valenti and see some of the amazing outtakes from our july catalog shoot.

When and why did you first get into photography?

I started pretty young and always loved it. After I finished college, I moved to NYC and assisted fashion photographer, Sante D’orazio. I didn’t know anything about the fashion world and not that much about the technical side of photography, at least not at that professional level – I was the WORST assistant ever. He’d probably tell you that too. But he and I became very dear friends and I paid attention and learned so much. I thought I’d end up making movies, so I moved to LA and wrote scripts, but I didn’t like how long it took to make something (which is, it took FOREVER). And that frustrated me beyond belief. So I moved to Austin and I went back to photography, and started to develop a style and a voice in images in a quiet way, on my own time. I’m a very, very late bloomer.


We all love your work with the Sisters of the Black Moon. How did you guys meet?

I think we met at Alecia’s birthday party at a place called Shangrila in Austin. I knew who they were, and I had major girl crushes on them! We started hanging out and soon after I asked them if I could take pictures of them at a swimming hole nearby.


Do you have a favorite moment from the Free People catalog shoot?

It was all so great! I couldn’t have asked for a better experience and I”m so insanely grateful for it. I feel like I made new friends, it wasn’t just a job, you know? That’s a pretty special experience to have – I didn’t want the shoot to end. Doub is my hero. What a beautiful, generous, loving woman… all of my friends fell in love with her. I kinda wanna put her in my pocket and take her with me everywhere. And I just loved all the models – Ashley Smith was a dream, I’d shoot her everyday of the week if I could! I guess, one of the best moments, though, was when the band was playing as I was shooting. All my friends were there, it felt so comfortable, it was a love fest from the get go! That and the last night when we went to eat at the Mexican restaurant, and we shut it down. They were sweeping up around us :)


If you had a time machine, where would you go?

The future to see if everything I dream about comes true.
Or back when I was struggling to tell myself it’s all gonna be just fine. Ha!

Where do you draw inspiration for your work?

Old paperback book covers from the 60’s and 70’s.


Who are some of your personal favorite photographers/artists?

Oh man, there are so many. Maybe the anonymous photographers from the turn of the century or family snap shots that were shot with Polaroids in the 60’s and 70’s. As for fine artists, I’d say self-taught, outsider artists – people who make art, houses and furniture out of scrap material.

What music are you listening to right now?

Two things: My Willie Nelson Pandora station.
And my rooster crowing in the garden. He’s a mean punk ass SOB.
But his crow kills me, so funny. Except at 4:30 in the morning. That’s when I wanna ring his neck.


Favorite book?

Autobiography of a Yogi and the Bhagavad Gita, the Eswaren translation.
Both changed me immeasurably.

What do you love most about living in Austin?

You don’t have to drive very far to get anywhere… the swimming holes (when there’s not a drought!)…and the people, my friends. There’s a real sense of community here. I’ve never felt that way about any other city I’ve lived in.


Tell me something most people don’t know about you.

Hmm, I don’t know, I’m kind of honest to a fault. I feel like as I get older I realize I’m like everyone else… same fears, a dreamer… I’m no better, no different than anyone else. I wear my heart on my sleeve most the time and pretty wide open about my feelings… man, sounds so boring. I should have more secrets. I’ll work on that.


view the july catalog shot by alexandra valenti in its entirety, right here.