Our April catalog drops today! Here’s a little about the shoot from our creative director…
Our April book was based on a trend called “Mayan”, taking typical print/color palettes of that culture and translating them into modern silhouettes.
We’ve had great success working in Mexico in the past (January 08 book), so we decided to head back. This time, our production scout, Dominique took the team to Tulum…about an hour’s drive or so from Merida, where we’ve done most of our shooting up until this point. Tulum was gorgeous…white sand, green-blue ocean, teeming with lots of nomadic, free-spirited folks (including the guy on pg 6 and 13).
Most of our beach shots were taken there; the rest were taken on the road, driving to and from that location.
Very spontaneous shoot…and one of our favorites so far.
P.S. The headdress on the front cover was actually purchased in the Houston, TX airport. Winds forced our plane down, and the team wasn’t able to make its connecting flight to Merida…so we hung out for a long time, waiting for our luggage, and found this. Not Mayan, necessarily, but made for an awesome prop. :)
Meet Indiana Jones. Indie is a sweet boy who plays nicely with all of the other Free People dogs and comes to work almost every day.
Indie belongs to Erin, who is the Associate Designer for Prints and Colors. This means that Erin and Indie work on the print artwork for all Free People apparel. They also help to choose and name the colors for each item for every season. So if you love the print on your favorite Free People dress or shirt, chances are Indie and Erin had something to do with it.
Name: Indiana Jones
Nickname: Indie, Monster, Dr. Jones
Breed: Catahoula Leopard mix (seriously, it’s a real dog. If you don’t believe me, look up the state dog of Louisiana)
Likes: Running, running, and running.
Dislikes: People who step on his tail, people who take his trashcan, and mailmen (of course)
Favorite friends: He has an awful lot of friends, but I think his favorites are probably Rosie (an American Bull Dog), Keegan (a Black Lab), Dave (Manager of Free People Direct) and Mary Ellen (Senior Designer for Color and Prints.)
How did you meet Indie: We rescued him from a shelter in Philadelphia. I just wanted to pet him, because he looked so cute and I ended up taking him home :)
Anything else you want to share: Indie loves working at FP! Sometimes when we leave at night he won’t get in the car! He just keeps running back to the front doors!
*First name: Luren
*How long have you worked at Free People? Close to 2 years
*Tell me about your job: I draw on the walls at the new Free People stores during the openings, mostly in the fitting rooms. I design the seasonal visual display that goes to all the stores with my team, which means looking everywhere for inspiration, shopping in thrift stores, trying things out here in our studio, and seeing through production of anything that we make overseas. And I work on the designs for the packaging (the fabric shopping bags you get when you buy clothes at a Free People store).
*What do you like best about working at FP? I get a lot of creative freedom and responsibility, which is exciting because we get to be the face of the retail side of the brand–the part that people see when they’re wandering down the street or shopping in the mall. We get to make really inspirational, special setups in the store that get people using their imaginations and staying in the stores to look at everything we did to make it special, and that gets them to look at the amazing clothes!
Favorite FP items. Why? We The Free! The Relaxed Pullover Hoodie and the We the Free Short Sleeve Rugby Stripe. Anything from WE THE FREE. Looking forward to all the new products that are about to drop.
Tell me about your dog. I LOVE ALL DOGS. But I can’t have my own because I travel all the time for work and to explore the world. So I get to love all the dogs around the Navy Yard, without getting to spoil just one with all my attention. But IDA lives in my house, so she’s my most favorite!
What do you do when not at work? I design textiles, run a gallery and a gallery store which sells artist-made products with some friends, tie-dye old clothes in my yard, cook, grow vegetables in my garden, draw, travel, and I just wrote a book about screenprinting at home called Print Liberation .
What do you like best about Philly? I love Philadelphia. It’s a really easy place to do your own thing. You’re not in the world spotlight like you are in cities like NYC and LA so the pressure is off and people get to dig their heels in the ground and do what they feel passionate about. Which means people are more real and more straightforward. It’s cheap, so your life isn’t on the line if you screw up. People are hardworking and inspired.
Anything else? Picture credit: Mike Wilkes
Note: in pictures I’m in India working on display production, and wearing a free people burnout shirt
We are going to do some spotlights of Free People stores, so you can get to know a little bit about each one. The first entry is from our very first Free People store! Here is what the girls had to say…
Where is your store located? Garden State Plaza Mall, Paramus NJ
How many people work in your store? 5 Managers, 12 Sales Associates.
What is the weather like? Well right now it’s still cold, but we are all anxiously waiting for Spring to come!!!
What is the best thing for lunch in the area? One of our sales associate’s parents’ has a deli/market…Morano’s!!
What is your favorite piece in the store right now? The Cherry Blossom Dress..it is made of great fabric and has an amazing fit on everyone!!
How are people wearing this piece? Either by itself or looks really cute w/ skinny jeans or leggings
What is your favorite local treat? We love Ritas or Ralph’s Italian ice especially now in the spring and summer and Starbucks drinks!
What does the FP Girl do for fun? Go out with her friends to the mall, movies, bars
What else do you want us to know about your store? We all have a great time working with each other and provide GREAT customer service to all our customers!!! We all really love the brand and have so much fun working here!!
I know you’ve met some of the home office pets in the past (see here and here) but it’s been a while. There are some new faces and they want some attention!
Jack was a rescue dog from Morris Animal Shelter in Philadelphia. Word was that he was poisoned at the age of 4 months and left to die. Poor Jack was put on hold and rejected 4 times by different families for being “too hyper.” Jack eventually found a home with Kelly, our Wholesale customer service rep. She knew he was the dog for her when she took him out to the shelter yard to play and he promptly nipped her on her behind.
Jack now lives in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia with Kelly and her family and likes to come to work on a regular basis.
Name: Jack the dog
Nickname: Just Jack, Jackalope, Jack-a-saurus Rex, Bins, Jackson
Breed: Terrier/Boxer/something very soft
Likes: Girls and raw meat. Flashlights shone on the ceiling
Dislikes: Feral cats and robbers
Favorite friends: Free People Direct girls and Indie pup (one of the other FP office dogs)… Lauren from Wholesale is his real girlfriend
Kelly says: He is the greatest puppers ever. I *heart* him
The March catalog is here! The book was shot in India in Rajasthan Desert’s Neemrana Fort Palace. The palace is a hotel that many of the Free People designers have stayed in when traveling in India. Built since 1464 AD, Neemrana Fort Palace is among India’s oldest heritage resorts.
The two trend concepts in this collection are Peace Corp Prep and Everything but a Flower. Peace Corp Prep is a mixture of traditional preppy styling mixed with Indian prints and colors, lots of plaids mixed up with Indian florals. Everything but a Flower is print driven, inspired by all things geometric, both vintage and modern.
Check out the catalog video …
We first posted photos of the sequined canvases when our NYC store opened. Now they are part of all of the FP stores’ spring display. A reader commented asking how to make these, and one of our talented display girls had some great advice I wanted to share with everyone.
For our proto, our designer actually hand sewed each sequin on by hand, and then left a space for the screen printed flower applique. She does not recommend doing that yourself! Luren suggests going to a fabric store and buying a small amount of sequined fabric, maybe the stretchy variety. This could be a little expensive, so another great alternative would be to find some sequined wonder of a dress at a thrift store for a couple of dollars. That way you would be recycling material and not spending much $$. The fabric can them be fixed onto a frame of canvas stretchers and decorated as you like.
Hope that helps! If you end up making the project, you should send me the photos and I’ll post them on the blog! Just leave your email address in a comment and I will get in touch. Happy crafting!
Here is one more mix CD from the Urban Outfitters Home Office Swap. This was made by Meredith, the Allocation Analyst for the Free People stores! (If you’re wondering what that means, Meredith figures out how many units of each size and color of a style get shipped to each store. She analyzes all kinds of info like what was sold the year before, how similar styles are selling currently, etc)
A note from Meredith:
“It’s called I’m With Cupid. Geddit…
I was talking with a friend this week with whom I often exchange mix cds and was asked how I usually pick my songs. I think most of the time I pick a song because it’s the music that’s emotive to me, not necessarily the sentiment. But when it comes to finding songs for Valentines I see-saw the other way around, and each of these songs kind of pull on my heartstrings. One of my favourite things about love songs is how one time you listen to them and think “AH! This is how I feel and isn’t so wonderful!” and then a week later return to it thinking “LOVE! THE MISERY!” ”
The Moth & Aimee Mann
It Could Be Sweet & Portishead
Soul Food & Martina Topley-Bird
I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good) & Nina Simone
Your Love Gets Sweeter & Finley Quaye
Apple of my eye & Ed Harcourt
(There Is) No Greater Love & Amy Winehouse
Sweet Song & Blur
All Or Nothing & Pauline Taylor
You Know So Well & Sondre Lerche
Hills & Thao Nguyen
You Do Something To Me & Paul Weller
Tomorrow on the Runway & Innocence Mission
To Be Around You (Part 1+2) & Obi
Chicago (Acoustic) & Sufjan Stevens
Munich – (Editor’s Cover) & Corinne Bailey Rae
I’ve got you & New Buffalo
What If We Do & Mia Doi Todd
When I’m Thinking About You & The Sundays
The February catalog drops today! The book was shot in Jaipur, India. Our theme for this collection is “I Want Candy” translating into yummy, sugary, candy colors and embellishments of plastic stones and gems.
We were inspired by this Japanese travel book following one single girl’s experience. You’ll notice we only used one model for this book. Her name is Yulia. Stay tuned for an interview with Yulia and some behind the scenes photos…