Free People is a brand known for their hippie-chic fashions for women – from embroidered and applique tops to lacy, embellished dresses, there is almost always some aspect of the unexpected in their merchandise. That is why it's no surprise their visual merchandising has some of these elements included. This fall, Free People incorporated denim and elements of nature to create what their blogger, Julia, calls an "enchanted forest."
Bringing the outdoors in
To evoke the feel of fall, the visual team at Free People used trees and leaves in shades of red and gold. There are trees throughout the store inside, reaching toward the ceiling and strung with tiny, twinkling white lights. Faux fall leaves are strung from the ceiling to create the feeling of falling leaves, and this theme is repeated throughout the store, with strings of leaves adorning various walls. The designers also used leaves and sticks to create patterns on the walls. On one wall, leaves make up the center of a star design, and sticks are added to the outermost parts of the arms.
Denim is a traditional staple of fall, and many stores play this up by displaying different types of denim in their front windows. Free People took a non-traditional approach to the denim theme, instead creating patchwork denim tapestries that are strung on tree branches and hung from the ceiling to create temporary walls in the space. The tapestries contain different colored and patterned denim, including tie-dyed pieces, sewn together with other ethnic materials.
Bicycles are one of the major visual merchandising trends of 2012, something that was not lost on the visual merchandisers at Free People. The bikes on display in these stores are wrapped in different strips of denim and tassels. The sticks and leaves also adorn the bikes, making them look as though they traveled through the enchanted forest.
A soft wash of purple, burgundy and gold adds a romantic, artsy element to the entire Free People store. Watercolor washes over black ink drawings of sparse fall trees with their last leaves falling off. These tapestries are hung inside intricate wooden eastern-looking frames long the store's walls, accented with faux trees and the same red and gold leaves that decorate the window and entirety of the store.