I first discovered Gemma’s blog Fade to Black over a year ago, and fell instantly in love with her style and everything she posts. We’ve emailed each other frequently, but finally the other day we got to meet in person when she came down to our office, or as she calls it, fairy land, for a quick little visit. I asked her to fill out one of our style file questionnaires, and she cracked me up as she did. Get to know a little bit more about Gemma, FP style!
Gemma is also quite a talented artist! Here are a few more photos from her blog…
As you guys may have heard by now, we are opening our very first Free People store in Philadelphia this Friday! It is definitely a homecoming of sorts, as we open our doors on Walnut Street in Center City, not far from where the company began. You’ll hear much more about all the special touches we’re putting into the store over the next few days, but today Jemma, Naomi and I decided to take a field trip and head to some spots in the city that are nearest and dearest to our hearts, to shoot our own little Philly lookbook.
I knew right away what my location would be – the street where I grew up. A three story brick townhouse in the Fairmount neighborhood, walking distance from the Art Museum and just a few blocks from the stone walls of the penitentiary. A quiet, tree lined street, where the same construction truck still parks in the spot across from my old house, and marble steps climb up towards doors painted varying shades of blue, red and green.
It was a magical time in my childhood, full of block parties, neighborhood cleanups (when we’d all go out and rake leaves and clean up together), bike rides, scraped knees, and water ice from the park grocery across the street that has since closed its doors for good. Sometimes its nice to take a little trip down memory lane.
After wearing the wingtip boots today I became slightly attached.
Stay tuned for our photos, they’ll be up later this week!
Last night we spent the evening on a junk boat in Halong Bay, a land of floating villages and magic landscapes – one of the most indescrible experiences we’ve ever shared. Can’t wait to share photos with all of you. Another 5 hour drive ahead, and then we’re off on an 8 hour night train to Sa Pa. See you soon!
I’ve had the pleasure of going to one of our catalog shoots, so I know first-hand that our catalog team is amazing and so much fun – these photos definitely capture that spirit! Behind the scenes from our holiday catalog shoot :)
My day went from getting dressed & morning coffee to train rides and a Free People preview event…
As many of you should know by now, today is the launch of our much awaited bicoastal NYC & LA pop-up shops. Last night we held a little preview event for friends, bloggers, & media at both locations. I was lucky enough to help organize the whole thing and attend the NYC event. I was working of course, but this is the kind of thing I’ve always dreamt of getting the chance to do. We had RSVP’s from editors I’ve watched creep up masthead ranks, and bloggers who inspire me on the regular. Working for a brand, that my heart is truly invested in, I just couldn’t wait to share it with them. I was nervous though. Was I going to say all of the right things, and forge a connection between Free People and these important figures?
The cupcakes & wine were set. Goodie bags were in place. I smoothed a red coat of confidence across my lips and watched the door as attendees began to trickle in. As soon as I greeted the first to arrive, Claire Geist from Delune Blog, my nerves evaporated. A warm calm of “I got this” washed over me. I was there to represent the brand, but I was also there to just be myself, and had a blast. I cracked jokes with Natalie Suarez and Christina Caradona who apparently has something of a Kanye crush (Kanye – if you’re reading this, I highly suggest dropping the woman a line). I connected with Karen of Wheredidyougetthat over the beauty of individual interpretation in fashion, and specifically the creative freedom that Free People possess to inspire it. She had a calm insightful point of view that stirred up my thoughts – which is exactly the kind of conversation I live for. Lastly, I finally got to meet Erica & Lauren of Honestly…WTF who we’ve worked with before, but I’ve never gotten the chance to meet myself. They’re both intelligent women with such cool energies about them. You can’t help but notice that you’re in the presence of a rare kind of special person when you’re with them.
The gowns looked beautiful and at the end of the night I was content. I loved talking about the brand and getting Free People’s beauty out there. It was a night of meeting new people, partaking in interesting conversations, and celebrating fashion – exactly what I’ve always wanted for my future.
Now somebody pinch me. Nobody gets their dreams this young…
“I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering…”
Sometimes I feel like the thoughts in my head fly around at a frenzied pace and the only way to sort them out is to get away for a bit. Even if it’s not far away, just to get out of the city, and surround myself with new sights, smells and sounds can do the trick. This weekend I did actually travel though – I went to California for a quick vacation with my sister to catch up with some family and old friends.
California is one of my favorite places in the world – and while I prefer San Francisco, I do love LA. We stayed at the Standard Hotel in Hollywood – located on Sunset Blvd, it has a really cool modern vibe and great location. We spent our days doing some vintage shopping on Melrose (where I found a pair of perfectly beat-up boots in just my size for a mere $20!), hanging out in Santa Monica – where we even went to the pier for the first time in years, and just lounging by the pool at the hotel, relaxing before a night out.
It was just what I needed before flying back to a cold, snowy (!) Northeast on Saturday.
The Standard Hotel
I loved this store Slow – especially its little off-shoot full of vintage treasures called As Is.
Another great store – Wasteland – where I got my boots.