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?



  1. So I know it’s everyones dream job to work at Freepeople, it’s definitely mine. I’m about to transfer to San Jose State and am still contemplating what to major in. My absolute dream job would be to be a buyer for Free People or Anthropologie. I really love what these two companies represent and to be able to travel to the worlds best flee markets and such to buy for Free People (or Anthro) would be amazing! If anyone has any advice on what kind of college degrees buyers for Free People or Anthropologie have, I would really appreciate the advice and would love to know.


  2. Brimfield is amazing my mom, aunts, and I have been going forever! There are so many amazing artisans and unique finds. My family has several antique furniture pieces that are so interesting. I definitely recommend taking a trip!

  3. Hey Ashley,
    I just got a job as the visual merchandiser for Free People at a location in Los Angeles and I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Communications at FIDM. I got the job through a friend at school who happened to be very close with the Visual Manager and she was looking for someone to train and take over the store. It’s not about what degree you have, it is all about the people you know but you definitely have to represent the brand. They won’t hire just anyone and it is a lot of work, you have to be creative as well as business savvy! :)

  4. Brimfield is simply amazing. This year I scored a massive Crazy Horse print and found my boyfriend a 48-starred flag for 10 bucks. Seriously a pickers paradise, and one vendor sells what have to be the best pulled pork sandwiches ever.

  5. I find it very distasteful that a bag with a visual swastika made it into this blog. How many relatives of mine had to die for this symbol to make it into a fashion blog.

  6. sorry, but history or not, a swastika is offensive. Free People shouldn’t have posted that image.

  7. Obviously, there could have been a much more happier photo chosen to put into this blog post. What is the intention here? A symbol of hate, death and no freedom certainly does not leave me with any sense of inspiration or good feeling. It is contrary to what I thought Free People stood for.

  8. Let’s just start off with saying I LOVE FREE PEOPLE! But this post including the bag with the swastika on it was unnecessary and completely offensive. The Free People brand’s big motto is to live free, and, just as Sheri said, this totally goes against that. The Holocaust was not a time of happiness and freedom, like what Free People promotes, so basically, they’re going against their own motto. Free People shouldn’t have posted that picture just because anything they see that’s vintage is cool and bohemian. They should have really thought about it before posting it, and, in my opinion, they should remove it if they want to keep up with encouraging that “free” lifestyle.

  9. i agree that a different photo should have been chosen. But, as a jewish girl I have learned not to hide or run from this symbol. It represents an event in history to us, an event that was awful, inhumane, and an event that still today astounds me that it actually occurred BUT it is also an event that needs to remembered. it needs to be a warning to the future generations….for many things: to not so willingly trust a political leader we know little about (sound familiar??), or even everyday lessons like not giving in to peer pressure and joining “the army” (ever see swing kids??).

    also, just FYI, in hindu culture, this symbol represents life and literally translates in sanskrit as “well-being”. clearly here though, turned at it’s Nazi’s Germany 45 degree angle it is a representation of the Nazi Germany reign, it is NOT a hip piece of luggage, and I think FP should remove this photo.

    although, i must say when I see this symbol i choose to remember it as a symbol that represents the lives of those NOT FORGOTTEN! a symbol of an event that must be taught to our future and be a symbol of warning. Because honestly, these types of things happen on a large and small scale, even though we may not hear about it……ever hear about rwanda while it was happening? or what about the bosnians? or what about the war in darfur and the sudanese? we cannot be silenced because sadly the list goes on….
    okay, off my soapbox now.

  10. I applaud the inclusion of the image of the suitcase in this post.I think we really need to ask the people selling that suitcase a laundry list of questions instead of bombarding free people with requests to take the picture down. It is good to bring to light images like this to remind us of what evils exist right in our own backyard, and not some far away place overseas. I have been to countless survivor talks and what I continue to take away from them is that it is our responsibility as free people to know that something like this is not exactly dead and buried in our past. And we need to stop limiting this problem to just those it personally affects, it affects and offends us all as citizens of the world. We can’t go on ignoring images like this, especially one obtained from a place in our own country, because we find them distasteful and offensive. That having been said, this is NOT the worst of what is out there. Just take a walk in your nearest city and you won’t just find relics of the past like this suitcase, but fresh graffiti and hate speech even worse than this (which you should report to the ADL!). Images like this and the people who stand behind them are alive and well. We need to acknowledge this image. We must be appalled that it ever existed, then we need to get fucking angry and do something about it.

  11. Ooookay, so I don’t think that the inclusion of the photo is Free People saying, “Hey! Nazis were super trendy and uber cool! Jewish people (and every other group that was targeted, because it wasn’t *just* Jewish people) are awful folks, Hitler knew what was up!” Rather, it’s a photo of a lot of interesting items that was for sale at the flea market. An item of historical significance even. Are history books offensive? Mine had an image of a soldier wearing a swastika. Should it be airbrushed out in that context? No. Why? Because that would be altering history, and history is. It happened. Photoshopping an image doesn’t change what happened. Taking the picture down doesn’t deny that odds are VERY good that was the most historically interesting item at that entire flea market. Omitting the image will not make the luggage disappear, and it will not undo anything. Shoving heads in the sand accomplishes nothing, and outrage over any reminder of an event (whatever that event might be) shuts down discussion, understanding, etc.

    As someone with a deep appreciation for history and culture, I find it profoundly offensive that anyone would take offense to an image of any historical item. This isn’t a new swastika bandeau, it’s not even a vintage loves item that FP is selling for profit. Again, nobody is endorsing anything. This blog is more than a fashion blog, so accusing FP of somehow endorsing the swastika as “trendy” is outlandish. There are recipes. There are DIY projects. There are spiritual images. You get the point. It’s more of a cultural blog, and as a cultural blog, part of culture is history. I don’t even think the content is out of place for this blog. I get that it would be offensive for FP to start selling swastika necklaces or armbands. I even get that some would find it offensive to sell items in Vintage Loves that were of the Nazi era. Taking offense to this is simply being overly sensitive, and I would be profoundly saddened if FP caved to an incredibly vocal, but incredibly small group of people who are over-reacting to this post.

    And for the record, comments like, “How many of my relatives had to die for X to happen,” are awful. They are pejorative and shut down conversation. It sucks that so many people died. War sucks. Genocide sucks. Those types of statement miss the point. Relatives *did* die. Nobody is profiting from their deaths. Nobody is rejoicing in their deaths. Historical items are reminders of regrettably, awfully, horribly, atrocious incidents. And without reminders, events are forgotten. And if people must die, it seems like the worst thing that can happen to them would be for their deaths to be forgotten.

    Just sayin’.

  12. stop being so touchy. history happened, there are remnants everywhere. that’s the way life is. not looking at it doesn’t make it go away. denying the symbols is almost as bad as denying the actual events.

  13. I don’t think that it was Free People’s intentions to post an offensive picture. It’s just history. You can’t ignore it. Look at it for what it is: a picture of something that belonged to a person long ago.
    I love Free People and this blog!

  14. We wanted to let everyone know that the offensive photo was taken down, and we apologize to anyone it offended. We were not making any historical reference, this was a miss during our review process. We were excited about our shopping experience at the Brimfield Market and hoped to share that with our readers. In no way do we condone what the symbol represents and we are extremely sensitive to its impact on many lives. We appreciate our readers’ quick feedback and opinions on the post. The blog is a collaboration of many people here, and we love that our readers are as much a part of the content as anyone. Thank you!

  15. I love flea markets. We visited the biggest one in Paris while there, but I’d love to hit up a few in the states. Maybe someday…after I’ve bought an RV…

  16. Words cannot express how outraged I am that FP decided to cave to an over-reaction. Thank you for pandering. Fantastic.

  17. Words can not express how that symbol offends. This was not an over reaction. Hatred involving that symbol is still relative to this day. It is not something of the past that we have to get over, it is something we continue to live with and if one person is offended than that is one more than necessary.

  18. If the standard is “anything that offends even 1 person should not appear on this site” then why weren’t all photos of models with animals yanked? Plenty of animal rights folks were offended by those. Why are crosses and images of crosses sold and pictured on this site? Personally, I find the cross to be far more offensive than a swastika because TODAY the Christian right is actively passing laws that negatively affect ME… TODAY. Hear that FP, I am offended by the image of a cross. Are you going to pull them ALL? If you are not, then why do you cave to the demands of some and not others? Guess what, you are correct to not pull images of the cross and models with animals from your website because no harm is intended. But that means you shouldn’t pull the swastika suitcase either. But if you insist on pulling it, then there’s a list of items and images that could offend. Plenty of feminists cry against the use of size 4 models, and find the practice to be actively harmful to people TODAY. Why not start using some size 12s? Why not cater to them? Why the flaming double standard? Why?

    And why would anyone ever waste the emotional energy to become so worked up over a picture of a suitcase – I don’t care what’s on it – that they’d demand the picture be removed? Isn’t that a moral victory for the Nazis? Allowing one’s self to be pushed around by an image, and allowing the image to elicit a host of negative emotions, and not being strong enough to not be bothered by it is a victory for Hitler 65 years in the making. If one person is offended, that is one more than is necessary to declare it a moral victory for the OTHER side. And to cave to that one person and NOT take the side of reason is ANOTHER moral victory for the OTHER side.

    Again, thanks for pandering. Also, thanks for being so transparently selective in who you pander to. Why are the feelings of a Jewish girl so much more important than the feelings of a feminist? My guess is that it is convenient from a profit bottom line. It’s easy and doesn’t hurt business to pull a single image. But it would cost a fortune in sales to start using less than attractive models who don’t make the clothes look as pretty as the size 4s do. FP could at least be upfront about WHY they chose to cave to this one person on this one issue. And anyone who defends the decision to remove the post on the grounds that “even one person” was offended needs to think twice, because the standard in the past has NOT been to cave to LARGE NUMBERS of people who are offended by other practices of this particular business.

  19. FP, you did the right thing. The swastika is an internationally offensive symbol. I understand, it has ancient meaning, and the Nazi’s have distorted it, but in this day an age, anything with a swastika on it no longer carries the meaning of the far, far past. It carries with it the atrocities committed by the Nazi’s during the second world war. You “profit bottom line” comment is offensive, not just to Jews, but to the awesome folks are Free People who do their best to transmit feelings of peace and love through what they make. I’m sorry you are so angry…..

  20. Reality Check- you are right. Jews are not the only ones who would be offended. Gypsies, homosexuals and handicapped individuals are just a percentage of people that the swastika could offend. I applaud you for defending the rights of women, but just try to imagine the scenario from another point of view…..



  22. The “profit bottom line” comment is offensive? Seriously? Pointing out that companies tend to cave to pressure ONLY when doing so is monetarily convenient is offensive? HOW? It’s true! Then again, if you are the kind of person who gets offended by a few straight lines, you’re probably the kind of person to get offended by observations of the bleeding obvious.

    I’m imagining the scenario from the point of view of a *rational* person. I see no reason in considering it from another point of view. Well, technically I did consider it, then I criticized it. Then I criticized pandering to the irrational point of view. Just because I criticize the over-reaction doesn’t mean that I haven’t considered the over-reaction. Frankly, I see it as a sign of internal weakness, a scathing indictment of modern society, and a small victory for Nazi Germany. Still chipping away at freedom and happiness 65-70 years later.

    And lastly, tell FP that seeing white people brings up memories of slavery and Jim Crowe, and that whiteness is a symbol of hatrid. Maybe get Erica D. to plead your case for you. Maybe FP will then fire all the white girls so that you don’t get offended. And if they don’t, they’d be guilty of setting a flaming double standard. Fun!

  23. Just signed up for the Free People Summer Swing Giveaway.
    Simply adore your stuff from clothing to accessories.

  24. “Anonymous” – have you ever even looked through FP’s website and catalogues? How can you even say that they only use white people? Why does everyone have to be soooo offended about everything? Damn.

  25. Hi all, Images like this and the people who stand behind them are alive and well. We need to acknowledge this image. We must be appalled that it ever existed, then we need to get fucking angry and do something about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.