This cool tree, which has been ‘planted’ on a wall next to the lobby here in the
Free People Home Office, features a photo of nearly every Free People Home Office employee!
The photos don’t quite capture how big and cool it actually is!
(And a big thank you to everyone who helped put it up! It’s wonderful!)
Enough with all the suspense. The May catalog drops today, so check yer mailboxes, or check it out online.
A little about this month’s book…
Our May 08 catalog was based on a “by the seashore” concept… We’d been hitting up a lot of beautiful sandy beaches lately, so we wanted to explore something a little different.
Our senior stylist pointed us to the rocky beaches of central/northern California, especially the Big Sur area.
Anyone I’ve ever talked to about Big Sur has said nothing short of amazingly beautiful things about the place…so we packed up and headed west.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t very cooperative – it was quite cold and rainy a lot of the time.
And to boot, our brunette model got sick during the first day of shooting, so we brought in a 2nd girl at the last minute.
But it was great using 2 different faces…
We took a 12-passenger van out on 17-mile drive, starting off each morning near our hotel in Monterey and then driving through pebble beach (we ate lunch each day at a deli in the middle of the golf course), then onto Big Sur.
Spent a lot of time looking over cliffs at what we thought were sea lions, only to realize quite late in the game that they were really giant pieces of seaweed.
We were a little bummed…
This was our first all-girl outing, by the way…photographer, assistants, stylists, etc. very exciting!!!
A friend of one of the fp girls made the May catalog video (see the previous entry) and it turned out so amazing, we wanted to share a little about his process and inspiration. Here is what Ram had to say about his work on the project.
“Carrie (fp creative director) first sent me a 3-4 minute cut done there with music and everything. I used that footage and grabbed stills from it I liked compositionally and took them into Photoshop to create color boards. The whole idea was to create a dreamy feel for the video. This is something I like to incorporate into a lot of what I do.
My background is illustration, specifically in concept art and matte painting, which is basically just creating images which don’t actually exist, but could in a potential fantasy world. The boards showed how far I’d like to push the piece. From there, David Bokser and I requested more footage. I scrubbed through it and found everything I liked and then we started on the final edit. I also knew I wanted it to end with “Free People” written in the clouds. I also spent a good bit of time going through the footage to find frames of the behind the scenes people and even some other interesting shots and treated them with texture and color for the “flicker” shots through the whole piece. I’ll post some of the favorites on my website once the video is released.
The choice of music was difficult at first. When Carrie initially brought up the possibility of doing this I had some music in mind that reminded me of the drive down the Pacific Coast Highway (where Big Sur is). I really wanted to use a certain track, but I didn’t want that to dictate the mood. I wanted the clothing and the models to be first. When Dave played me the piano track, I was hesitant at first to let go of what I originally wanted but after a few listens and some changes I enjoyed it more and more and felt it was fitting.
I really love Free People. Is that weird for a guy to say? :) I think maybe the cute models have something to do with it. Ha, no really, what I love most about FP is the use of textures, patterns, and color. I am one to always incorporate texture and rich color into what I do. I think the clothing just looks great, it has a vintage flare to it but very modern and stylish. Another quality I really love is how the inspirations for the trend come from around the world. I’d love to do a photoshoot for Free People on location and create a catalog and video.
The creative inspiration question… always a tough one. A while back, Kara (from fp) introduced me to a photographer, Tim Walker, whose work I’d seen before but now that I knew the name I fell in love with the work when I saw an entire gallery of it altogether. His work, alongside a slew of fashion photographers, have been really inspirational. I’ve actually come up with some photo shoots of my own that I hope to start working on soon. A huge director inspiration for me these days has been Bruno Aveillan. His video for Louis Vuitton is incredible and his cinematography is practically flawless. In the future I’d love to come on set and shoot the videos for Free People as a more narrative piece that incorporates the clothing as the showcase.”
The music is by an artist named Michael David Crawford. Ram said “We basically wanted something dreamy and devoid of words so we could focus on the visuals. I do love piano and want desperately to learn to play. :) Originally the piece was going to incorporate an E.E. Cummings poem I really liked, but after the edit and visual effects were done, we were really happy with it and didn’t want to detract from what we already had.”
Ram’s web site: www.rambhat.com
David Bokser’s site: www.davidbokser.com
Almost the moment I posted pictures of the Big Sur catalog shoot for you all
to look at, I was informed that the catalog video had been put up on the
Free People Youtube! So I wanted to be sure and post it for you to see!
You can also find it (and all our other videos) here.
This catalog drops next week and we are all so excited! Enjoy!
I don’t mean to overwhelm you with videos, but I really wanted to share this. This Saturday, you can join the world to celebrate Pangea Day. The concept is really amazing. Here is some info from the Pangea Day web site…
Pangea Day is a global event bringing the world together through film.
Why? In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it’s easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that – to help people see themselves in others – through the power of film.
More than 1,000 Pangea Day events worldwide will transmit photos, video, and text messages, to be incorporated in the live broadcast and the pangeaday.org web site.
The 4-hour Pangea Day program will include visionary speakers and live music in addition to the featured films. Queen Noor of Jordan, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, musician/activist Bob Geldof and Iranian rock phenom Hypernova are among the presenters taking part.
So get some buddies together or check out this map to find put where people will be celebrating near you.
Meet our intern Pruitt! She is doing an awesome job helping out with the blog to bring you more nuggets from the FP home office. Check out these videos while Pruitt interviews people on the streets and asks, “Do you know what Free People is?” And check out her shopping trip.
We’ve updated our youtube page with a few new videos you haven’t seen before, so go there to see them all…
Here is our behind the scenes look at the Free People Home Office in Philadelphia. This video shows our three summer trends for 2008.
Peace Corps Prep: Inspired by girls in the peace corps traveling in India.
Everything But a Flower: A collection of new and vintage geometric patterns and shapes.
Mayan: Inspired by the beautiful Mayan Riviera and Aztec designs.
Here is Rosie!!
and a note from her owner…
I was actually on the hunt for an English Bulldog, but came upon Rosie and loved her immediately! I wanted a female dog I could name Rosie Ruby, and when I saw her, she looked like a Rosie Ruby to me. She is my first dog and she is a handful! But she’s very sweet and good protection since I live alone.
Name: Rosie Ruby
Nick names: Rosie Monster, Rosie Posie, The Beast, Poop face!
Breed: American Bulldog
Likes: Everyone, squeaky toys, digging up the flowers in my yard, taking over the whole bed, and a good belly rub.
Dislikes: People with there hoods up. Boxes, mannequins, and ceiling fans are scary!!
Favorite friends: Indi, Brownie, Baxter and Keegan
Rosie is a great dog! I love that monster!!
A few people asked how they can buy the FP tutus from the photo I posted. We do not have them for sale, but Luren from the display team has some tips.
To make these tutus, Luren used camisoles from past FP collections and petticoats she found on the internet. But you can make your own!
It’s easy to make a tutu: just find a color range of tulle and netting at your local fabric store and a thick band of elastic. If you have a sewing machine you can sew tiers of tulle onto the elastic band in a pleat-y way, folding an inch of the tulle under itself and sewing that inch, then folding more tulle under and sewing that inch so you’re making pleat after pleat after pleat right on the elastic band.
You can make several tiers of pleated tulle on a thick elastic band. Then you can add little bands of pleated tulle onto the bottom of the layers of tulle for extra bulk. We layered bright colors under pastel colors so that when you saw the tutus from below you got a special surprise pop of color.
Then we sewed them to Free People camisoles. The effect of this can be achieved with your homemade tutu or any tutu you can find at a thrift store or a dance shop. Most dance shops carry the donut style tutu (really big and thick around the waist) and the more relaxed skirt-y tutu. You can just pin the tutu to the bottom of the camisole all around and then use a needle and thread to whip stitch them together.
Luren (see this entry to learn more about Luren)
So, no one in the home office dresses alike or wears the same outfit-ever. However, one thing we all can agree on is how much we love the We The Free line.
We noticed how popular the sweatshirts and tees were in the home office so we started to document everyone rocking their WTF.
Some thoughts from the home office:
“It feels good. It looks good….I never want to take it off!”
“If you are rushing in the morning and you don’t know what to wear..you can throw on your We The Free and you are good to go!”
“The pockets on the pullover sweatshirt rule…. I’ve never felt this way about a sweatshirt before. For reals.”
“It’s great to wear everyday. Its super comfy and I get lots of compliments when I wear it…” Check out the full collection of We the Free