Our November catalog drops this week! Our inspiration was based on Tibet. Our crew travelled to northern India in the Himalayas of Leh-Ladakh (sometimes called “little Tibet”) for this book. It was quite an experience for our team. The altitude was one thing they had to get used to, at one point being 18,000 feet above sea level. They found they had to move really slowly, which is difficult on a photo shoot, especially when some of the best shots usually come spur of the moment or at the last minute.
They found the people of the town to be extremely hospitable and welcoming. One family even made the girls cups of yak butter tea. yum. These photos are some the “behind the scenes” shots. Enjoy!
i love your clothes, but am sad on how free people exploited a beautiful culture, when these people couldnt even afford a scarf off your website, your basically selling the culture they try to make a living off of. it will be hilarious to see all these rich bettys trying to wear this stuff, when hippies who support this culture by buying fair trade are walking around with the same prints and colors. free people’s whole idea of a free people girl is ridiculous when the people who shop there could only by rich snobs trying to look like they didnt spend alot on “handmade” things. i only hope the factory workers get paid fairly.
While the new clothes and the pictures of Tibet are beautiful, it would have been nice to see something mentioned here or in the catalog about the history and the adversity that occupied Tibet has experienced. I realize that this isn’t a political vehicle, but it wouldn’t hurt to write a few sentences about the turbulence that this country has experienced. They were hospitable to you, why not give them a little press by way of talking about Tibetan freedom causes or something? For a company that calls itself “Free People”, this seems like a major oversight. Tibet is more than a fashion statement, and I know you’re better than this.
love your new cataloge. having been married in a buddhist temple in nepal and living in india for some time i can really get your inspiration! well done
the catalog looks great, as do those delicious gingerbread houses! now when do we get to see the new scrumptious holday store display?!
I went out to my way to post a thoughtful, non-inflammatory comment, with the hopes that it would encourage some discussion about Tibet. You didn’t post it. I’ve always loved FP clothes and the creativity and thought that goes into them, but i’m afraid that i’m going to have to boycott, and encourage the girls that I know that buy FP to do the same. You didn’t even entertain my comment with a personal response. I now realize how shallow your company is. Included below are some facts about Tibet.
*In 1949, the Chinese Communists, led by Mao Tse-tung, overthrew the Chinese nationalist government and swept into power.
*On March 17th, 1959, to put down the uprising, the PLA opened cannon fire on Lhasa, and the Dalai Lama was forced to flee into exile.
* Over 87,000 men, women and children were killed in the three months after the March 10th uprising, and tens of thousands were imprisoned, as all of Tibet was occupied by the PLA.
*Over 6,000 of Tibet’s 6,200 monasteries were looted and destroyed during China’s “cultural revolution,” and most of their irreplaceable religious texts and artworks have been lost.
*There is no freedom of speech, press, or religion in Tibet. It is illegal to own a drawing or photograph of the Dalai Lama.
*Number of Tibetan deaths since 1949 due to political instability, imprisonment, torture, mass execution, and famine: 1.2 million
Never thought that the culture of Tibet and Nepal would be so commercialized….and to top it off, a pair of underwear with the Buddha on it….only America or China could do something like that!
Do you have a mission statement?
We don’t have a “mission” per say, but you can check out our story here
I want to thank all of you for your comments, and apologize for those that weren’t published right away. A lot of times we get comments, and I want some of the team at FP to read them and have a chance to express their responses. So I’ve passed your comments along to our team before they were posted.
I have to say it is upsetting to us to get such criticism, especially when we feel so good about the research and work we put into each collection, particularly when we get to highlight the beauty of another culture. It makes us sad to know that folks like these, though their points are truly valid and worth discussion, choose to accuse our company of exploiting people or cultures. It is never fp’s intention to belittle the cultures that intrigue and inspire us.
We sometimes get frustrated because we seem to be getting negative comments about so many things that we feel are just misinterpreted or misunderstood. We do not intend to make any kind of political statements and do not wish to argue about yours. We love having this blog and having a chance to hear the thoughts and opinions of all of our readers and customers. We are lucky to have this place to share our discoveries and interests and inspirations. We want to continue to focus on sharing that, and hope not to constantly defend ourselves.
I would like to apologize and modify my previous biting comment on your commercialization of Tibetan culture. The negative comments posted are all coming from a place of deep caring for the people whose culture has provided you with a whole line of clothing. Your readers/customers would love it if you somehow supported this culture which is being systematically destroyed by the Chinese government. For example, how about giving a small percentage of your profits to the Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation, which provides an education for Tibetan children refugees? http://www.tibetanchildrenseducation.org You are calling your store Free People and you are using photos of an oppressed people in your catalog so it is natural for the public to want to know if you are, in some real way, supporting oppressed people. You have worked hard to develop a thriving business and now you have a wonderful opportunity to make the world a better place for those less fortunate than you.
When were these photographs taken and who are the photographers that took them?
When I saw the Tibet catalogue and the clear inspiration for the clothing, it was very inspiring and beautiful. Some of the models looked like they did not enjoy being there but the beauty of the area and the environment spoke volumes and I must say it did complement the clothes beautifully.
The most beautiful picture of all was the Tibetan man wearing a scarf. The model looks almost cringing but I won’t let that detract from the image. The man shines so beautifully, so radiantly, I was taken aback in amazement. The photo of him really struck a chord with me, and brought tears of joy to my eyes. I think that is the most beautiful page in the book. Every time I look at his smile, I feel completely inspired by his beauty.
It makes me wish you would have included some information about the plight Tibet’s people are facing. In this country awareness is lacking and in fact UNawareness is a disease.
The beauty of Tibet in the pages of your catalogue would have been even more inspired if you would enlighten the casual viewer of the seriousness the country is facing.
The comments received here are showing the desperation of those who are aware with Tibet’s plight.
In any case, thank you for a deep, gorgeous, and thought-provoking collection.
Thimblescratch Handmade Clothing
thanks for the great quality of your blog, each time i come here, i’m amazed.