1:53 pm - 02/22/2014

Free People to Replace Top Models With Customer Photos Online

We’ve always been struck by Free People’s casting of fantastic, in-demand top models, like Karlie Kloss, Freja Beha and Sasha Pivovarova, for its catalogs — so much so that we’ve actually written about it. And now, you can join the club as a face for the brand. Well, sort of.

The company is furthering its experimentation with user-generated content (UGC). One year ago, Free People launched FPMe, an online community where customers can upload shoppable photos of themselves in their Free People outfits. Additionally, online items are often accompanied by photos of customers wearing them. Data from the past year has shown a 42 percent improvement in the same session conversion rate (i.e. someone buys something) on FreePeople.com when FP Me Pics are associated with product on the page.

So, Free People is launching a special new section on its site this Saturday called “FP Me,” where you can browse a curated a selection of the most popular FP Me images, which will replace typical model shots (see an example above) for two weeks.

It’s an easy way for FP to further determine the power of UGC to drive sales. Not to mention, it’s a whole lot less expensive than hiring Karlie Kloss — the chosen customers will be alerted to their new model status, but not compensated. In fact, since the subjects bought the clothes they’re wearing, it’s almost like they paid Free People to be models.

A lot of companies are experimenting with UGC these days: Modcloth has a similarly thriving community and BaubleBar, New Balance and Gap have all dabbled in it. And most recently, Calvin Klein launched its #mycalvins campaign, encouraging the public to upload tagged social media photos, which the company is aggregating on its website and linking to products.

Of course, just because UGC has worked well for Free People and its boho, blogger-y customers, doesn’t mean it will work for every brand, so don’t count on models becoming obsolete just yet.


Clothes/shopping post!!
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eatmydustbinns 22nd-Feb-2014 04:01 am (UTC)
Daaamn I love all of Free People's clothes, but I'm too poor to buy it. I'm thankful for Marhsalls and TJ Maxx.
chokey_lowkey 22nd-Feb-2014 04:12 am (UTC)
I got a dress from nordstrom rack by them, and my date ended up vomiting on it :(
eatmydustbinns 22nd-Feb-2014 04:35 am (UTC)
Oh god I'm so sorry! What kind of date was that?
jejejfeddddd 22nd-Feb-2014 06:18 am (UTC)
Me too
rivulets 22nd-Feb-2014 05:18 am (UTC)
i would absolutely never own their clothing if it wasnt for discount stores

i love the look of their pieces but they never seem like good enough quality to be worth the full price
pinkfunraven 22nd-Feb-2014 07:16 pm (UTC)
I love TJ Maxx and Marshall's.
malidocious 24th-Feb-2014 01:14 am (UTC)
This is the story of my life, lol.
morgan90 22nd-Feb-2014 04:01 am (UTC)
Not the mods accepting this blatant PR piece while rejecting my post about Vader the fox getting euthanized
cloudsnberries 22nd-Feb-2014 04:05 am (UTC)
sis no need to defame my post like this!!
morgan90 22nd-Feb-2014 04:09 am (UTC)
Srry but what's a more compelling post - overpriced twee nonsense or this lil baby getting detained on a false biting charge then euthanized by police

Edited at 2014-02-22 04:09 am (UTC)
sprty 22nd-Feb-2014 04:13 am (UTC)
omg, i had no idea. i always see his pictures on tumblr.
justcool2687 22nd-Feb-2014 02:25 pm (UTC)
Wait what happened. I clicked on the link and it wasn't working.
arielcharming 22nd-Feb-2014 04:03 am (UTC)
Sounds like browsing a tag on Instagram.

I hate free people. their shit is too expensive. and it's not at all because I interviewed for a job with them twice & didn't get hired. I mean, that was the only way I could afford their shit anyway.
uncletam 22nd-Feb-2014 04:05 am (UTC)
Same, I like some of their clothes but it's so over priced and I feel like people just pile it on and call it style.
arielcharming 22nd-Feb-2014 04:07 am (UTC)
I feel like people just pile it on and call it style.

Yes. This.

some of their stuff is cute tho....
ophiodeiros 22nd-Feb-2014 04:15 am (UTC)
yeah and it's owned by the same urban outfitters jerks. bye, not buying shit
takingthewalk 22nd-Feb-2014 04:22 am (UTC)
my employee discount still does not make their clothes affordable! say i like a tank top that costs $90. with my discount its then $50. I'm not paying $50 for a tank top! the only time i can afford it is when we have employee appreciation and get a discount on sale items.
silentxstrom 22nd-Feb-2014 04:45 am (UTC)
a lot their stuff, much like UO, is overpriced, poorly made junk. it's the type of store where faux, rich hippy wannabes would shop.
makehersayhey 22nd-Feb-2014 04:59 am (UTC)
lol fuck same here
nomoneyfun 22nd-Feb-2014 06:40 am (UTC)
Not only is their stuff too expensive, it's WAY too expensive for the quality. If they're charging hundreds of dollars for a dress, that dress better be machine washable and look new through TONS of wear. Some of their stuff looks so worn out after being in the store for a few weeks. They and Anthropologie need to up their quality game if they're set on charging the prices they are.
summerswings 22nd-Feb-2014 08:39 am (UTC)
i used to buy free people all the time but every single item looked so much better on the site, and was pretty poor quality, so im really surprised theyre going to do this. their clothes certainly dont always look good on everyone
836am 22nd-Feb-2014 04:04 am (UTC)
blackwidow 22nd-Feb-2014 04:06 am (UTC)
I'm too fat and poor for Free People.
sprty 22nd-Feb-2014 04:06 am (UTC)
i buy gifts for people from them but i almost never shop there personally. they send me their catalogs so i just give them to my mom lol. their instagram is aesthetically pleasing in a v boho-twee way.
lillylilacs 22nd-Feb-2014 04:07 am (UTC)
interesting. i do like when i check the reviews people post pics of themselves in the clothes so i can get an idea of how it look irl.
arielcharming 22nd-Feb-2014 04:08 am (UTC)
I like that too. I feel like Modcloth was the first ones I saw doing that and I loved it. I'm sure they weren't the first, just the first to me.
uncletam 22nd-Feb-2014 04:07 am (UTC)
I like it when sites allow customers to post pics of themselves wearing an item, it makes it a little easier to judge before buying.
swissbeauty23 22nd-Feb-2014 04:07 am (UTC)
clever marketing campaign tbh
mrsdracula 22nd-Feb-2014 04:09 am (UTC)
We don't have Free People here so I went to their website and HOLY SHIT THEIR STUFF IS EXPENSIVE. And you can get all that for like half the price at a thrift store....

ok their party dresses are pretty cool ngl

Edited at 2014-02-22 04:12 am (UTC)
kairoso 22nd-Feb-2014 04:10 am (UTC)
i want a dress from free people but still waiting for it to go on sale
judgmental 22nd-Feb-2014 04:11 am (UTC)
*goes to FPMe*

oh but those girls are models...
chocobeans 22nd-Feb-2014 04:11 am (UTC)
Ruched dresses are still a thing, yes? Anything I should avoid? I'm about to order some stuff from a catalog cause I need to look somewhat 27 and overhaul some of my clothing.
hollygohardly 22nd-Feb-2014 05:05 am (UTC)
girl ruched dresses may be "a thing" but they are also a thing to avoid.
arielcharming 22nd-Feb-2014 06:47 am (UTC)
jfc at this cautionary tale being one of the first results on google

mrsdracula 22nd-Feb-2014 04:14 am (UTC)
ok 210 euros for THIS dress? really tho

but seriously who is buying this? who can afford this stuff?
cloudsnberries 22nd-Feb-2014 04:16 am (UTC)
I only ever buy stuff on sale I can't imagine how someone would pay full price for some of these brands tbh
mrsdracula 22nd-Feb-2014 04:21 am (UTC)
do the prices go down a lot?
eomir 22nd-Feb-2014 04:28 am (UTC)
Yeah, I have a few of their tops because I love floaty things to wear with leggings but I only have them because they were either on sale big time or my mom found them on ebay. :) Their stuff is very hit or miss with me and it's totally overpriced.
uncletam 22nd-Feb-2014 04:18 am (UTC)
I get paying the price for something that is kind of original, but people could easily get something similar to this at another store for a lot less:
ophiodeiros 22nd-Feb-2014 04:19 am (UTC)
and it's not even a type of clothing that is hard to find. these generic 80s floral dresses and fake boho mess made of synthetic materials is everywhere.

but they're acting like they offer some net-a-porter.com deals.
bubblegum_b 22nd-Feb-2014 04:27 am (UTC)
taylor swift :P
sevenbeat 22nd-Feb-2014 04:33 am (UTC)
H&M and Forever 21 sale rack realness

Edited at 2014-02-22 04:33 am (UTC)
jmfunnyface 22nd-Feb-2014 04:37 am (UTC)
I have a bunch of Free People stuff, but only because it's always on super sale at the big department stores near me (I guess it's not a popular brand around here). I bought one of their jackets for $16 last year & I saw a bunch of their dresses that were normally $148 marked down to something like 90% off this past weekend.

leviicorpus 22nd-Feb-2014 04:41 am (UTC)
lol the fuck

free people/urban outfitters's quality is shit too
frances_t 22nd-Feb-2014 04:48 am (UTC)
I bought a dress that looks pretty similar to that one for $12 from Forever 21. I could not imagine paying hundreds of dollars for something that won't be "classic", and even then it's crazy

Edited at 2014-02-22 04:49 am (UTC)
skagos 22nd-Feb-2014 11:48 am (UTC)
i can get the same dress at h&m for like a tenth of the price they are asking for
alienclit 22nd-Feb-2014 07:44 pm (UTC)
It's probably because of the quality of the fabric and it looks digitally printed. Properly digitally printing fabric gets super expensive.
srslyy 22nd-Feb-2014 04:17 am (UTC)
If I could afford to only wear free people and anthropologie clothes I would
uncletam 22nd-Feb-2014 04:20 am (UTC)
I like Anthro more than FP, but I own nothing from them...lol. Wait no, I have an Anthro mug.
loveuploud 22nd-Feb-2014 04:44 am (UTC)
i love anthropologie! i can only afford things when they're on sale.
limalemon 22nd-Feb-2014 04:49 am (UTC)
And I have an Antro vase. Clothes? Too fucking expensive.
chicaintcheap 22nd-Feb-2014 05:01 am (UTC)
yea, thank god their mugs are affordable b/c they're really fucking cute.
nomoneyfun 22nd-Feb-2014 06:43 am (UTC)
I own a dress, two skirts, and three cardigans from Anthroplogie and I treasure them. I hustled them by asking for Anthro gift cards for my birthday/holidays and patiently stalking things until they went on sale. Between the sale and the gift cards, nothing I've purchased from them has been over $30.
honeyspun 22nd-Feb-2014 01:18 pm (UTC)
i love anthro for home stuff (on sale!), though i side-eye a lot of their clothing bc it looks cute on the rack but ages me too much when tried on
schexyschteve 22nd-Feb-2014 04:42 am (UTC)
I'd do that with modcloth stuff, especially the fancier 50s-style dresses
so_chic_doll 22nd-Feb-2014 05:48 am (UTC)
A lot of my wardrobe is Anthro. haha.

I'm just really good at shopping their sale sections and throughout the year, they'll have sale on top of sale items... black friday/day after christimas are great sale days for them too.

I worked there for a few months & so some of the stuff I own was from that period-- but otherwise, it's just knowing when to hit up their sale section.
summerswings 22nd-Feb-2014 08:46 am (UTC)
i always see anthropologie clothes looking so awesome on bloggers but ive never been able to find something on a site i use that i would wear. i feel like people must hold onto it and never sell it
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