There are special little sectors within our brand, each one resonating with that true Free People girl, but each brimming with it’s own unique qualities. The amount of love and talent that goes into all of the different labels here at FP is unparalleled, and there’s a new one that I’m exited to introduce to all of you today: Heirloom.
The most recent line that one of our favorite designers, Gianna, and her team have put extra care into developing, Heirloom is a sight to behold. Last time I spoke with Gianna, the focus was on another brainchild of hers, New Romantics, so when I heard her team was working on something new, I was eager to see the result. Think timeless silhouettes, luxe fibers, and designs that have gone through the most natural of processes to come to form. From the outskirts of Jaipur, India to source indigo dyes, to the tip of our home country to find organic yarns in Maine, Heirloom brings with it classic traditions and quality craftsmanship. Soft sweaters and natural dyed tops currently make up the line, and their simple silhouettes are meant to be carried through from season to season. Below, Gianna shares with us just how special this line truly is.
It’s been some time since we’ve chatted! Last time we caught up, New Romantics was the topic of discussion. What have you been working on since then? Can you give us a little introduction to Heirloom?
Heirloom is a collection inspired by old traditions — think timeless, classic. It is destined to create many memories as as result of its staying power achieved through superior quality and craftsmanship.
This assortment has challenged us to travel and think outside of the usual design realm, identifying a literal “new world” for making clothes. We ventured to the outskirts of Jaipur, India where we discovered generations-old indigo vats dug deep into the ground. In the desert region of Gurjurat we befriended a new generation of Ajorak printers, whose ancestors developed this craft over 4000 years ago. And we must mention Master Ji, who personally escorted us from house to house to see skillful weavers maneuver their magnificent hand looms.
At home, we were able to link up with Maine-based Swans Island, an extraordinary yarn and blanket company who, while embracing the art of natural dye, raise and spin their own organic yarns.
Our goal is to preserve long-lasting relationships with these artists, and as a result, develop a line of slow-fashion clothes for the Free People customer to wear with love.
Heirloom has become a very special project to my team and its talented product development partners. It’s our sincere hope that its heart resonates with you and that it becomes an increasingly meaningful part of our brand.
What makes this line different from New Romantics?
New Romantics is yin — ‘wow’ pieces that define a moment… and Heirloom is yang — staple pieces that define a lifetime of memories.
Heirloom carries a very different feel and focus than New Romantics — that exists simply because the line is focused on naturalness, as well as timelessness of cloth and silhouette. Cotton, silk, merino and alpaca define the soul of this collection; therefore, trend is less influential. This novelty and texture-heavy approach to simplistic shapes will allow you to enjoy these pieces season after season.
What inspired the creation of this line?
In our fast-paced world fueled by technology, it seems that the artisan is a dying breed. To support them and their culture, to work in harmony with them, to live simply — these were the things that mattered and became the basis for what Heirloom would represent. The name encompasses the spirit of handwork, but also speaks to the functionality and timelessness of the silhouettes we plan to incorporate every season. In time, it is less about who is wearing what and more about how clothing becomes an extension of who you are.
It invokes the essence of two of our FP “girls” — Lou (utility, work wear, structured cloth) and Meadow (texture and softness).
Can you tell us a little bit about the process that went into creating some of these pieces?
The process is an organic one. We hunt/gather… and as we pick up fabrics, we’re constantly thinking about the story of what that material can become. It is a truly collaborative exchange with our pool of artisans and working with their strengths to make the story come true. The rest of the collection is then derived from those first instrumental pieces.
What is your favorite thing about Heirloom? Is there a certain style that you like most?
My most treasured style? The Mayan Traveler sweater… there are three different — and natural — shades of sheep’s wool in this piece. It is so exciting to introduce Swans Island to our community via Heirloom. We look forward to continuing our relationship in the coming seasons. In fact, it’s that sharing and nurturing which has become my favorite aspect of the line. I really encourage any aspiring knitters to check them out.
Is there a certain feeling you hope the customer gets when wearing one of these pieces?
We want her to be comfortable, most importantly. Clothes are an extension of who are.
What can we expect to see in the future from the Heirloom line?
Heirloom is about tradition, and we hope to share with you more of the stories about where these clothes are made, by whom, and how. That said, I invite you to give us your Heirloom dream piece request and we’ll do our best to make it happen!
Always a pleasure, Gianna! Thank you!
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