Since 2006, Free People has partnered with Edward Mullen Studio to design the e-commerce experience for their constantly evolving and shifting brand.
Through several generations of their Web properties, the goal has been to create experiences that feel expressive, handcrafted, and special.
In 2012 I worked with Free People in defining and designing their new social app and experience, FPme. Through several generations of their main retail website, the goal has been to create experiences that feel expressive, handcrafted, and special. In 2009 a major effort began to to optimize and modernize the entire shopping experience, layer in social activitity, and begin to integrate some emerging responsive web design techniques. A social shopping component allows shoppers to assemble collections of their favorite Free People clothing. Understanding that shoppers were viewing the website on different types of screens and devices, we wanted to be sure each person was having an optimum experience. Based on observation of behavior, the checkout process was optimized to improve conversions and streamline the process. In an on-going effort to increase the beauty, fun and functionality of the Free People retail site, an interim redesign effort was undertaken with the aim of retro-fitting the existing site to add increased flexibility for exciting, unexpected visual and interactive surprises and increase conversion through a reconfiguration of the product detail page. Establish a design framework that allows for dramatic visual variation over time with minimal workload requirements.
By creating a stylistically neutral site structure and pairing it with the use of big, loud, dramatic photographs that change with each visit, the site style takes on that of the photography.
Create an experience that goes beyond a typical e-commerce site and engages in the type of experience buyers have when they are in a showroom.
When buyers shop Free People showrooms or trade show booths, they both actively flip through racks of clothing or have an arrangement of items presented to them. In addition to the typical product grid, buyers can view products in a format similar to photo sharing sites, or view an animated slideshow of products in a given category.
Buyers are able to create and share lists of favorite items, and representatives are able to recommend list of items they believe fit well within their store based on past purchase history and experience.


Provide buyers and their representatives with information and tools that will ease the process of managing existing orders and making new ones. The shopping basket sorts items into delivery (release) dates, and applies any rules associated with each. Representatives have quick access to deep knowledge on the purchasing history of their clients, helping them make better recommendations on new orders and answer client inquiries. Free People is a young womana€™s clothier with a focus on creativity, travel, and global style. These collections can be viewed and shared with other shoppers to build bonds and inspire outfits.
This growth led to experimentations with two new Free People brands, beside the main Free People Collection. Today they have a fast growing retail business, both online and in Free People branded boutiques across the country. This allows Free People to highlight the amazing work being done all over their Philly Navy Yard home offices by the artists and designers that make Free People the fun, playful company that it is. They are often accompanied by the representative and maintain a relationship with that individual. Buyers are purchasing multiples of individual styles, in a variety of sizes and colors, some of which have order minimums or other restrictions. They can always utlilize the thumbnail stream to jump forward and back in the line-up of products. Requirements for wholesale shopping can be complex, but are clearly communicated to buyers. It is chock-full of creative, happy, artsy folks working in a supportive and stimulating environment making imaginative, expressive clothes for girls who just dona€™t want to fade into the background. Their clothes draw inspiration from around the world and attract fans interested in expressing themselves through Free Peoplea€™s dramatic style.
More recent efforts have focused on drawing in Free People fans to build collections and community around the brand.


In order to embody this philosophy, the website experience had to allow for the same type of freedom and flexibility. The framework was built in a way that allowed Free People to create separately branded shopping experiences at will. The site was heavily styled and intended to break away from the prevailing format of eCommerce sites at the time.
A single order may contain items from several delivery categories, with individual items on backorder or shipping at different times. The Caravan is a place where Free People gets to share the things they like (music, artists, videos), conduct craft swaps and give an inside look at FP designers.
A structural framework established a method that allows Free People’s in-house designers to change the aesthetics of the site while retaining a consistent layout and user experience.
Free People decided to develop a site that would allow buyers and reps to conduct their business online in a branded environment that paid homage to the experience buyers have when they go to the NY, Chicago or L.A.
Here we are infusing the buyers with the Free People spirit they are looking to share with their customers. Utilizing a photo slideshow motif, familiar to them from photo sharing websites, buyers have the ability to watch the items as an animated slideshow, view items as a linear stream of products or dig deep and get down to business in single product format.
Wholesale buyers were given the ability to easily check to see where their orders were, which items haves shipped and how the orders are broken into multiple shipments when necessary.
Representatives can get deep account information and put together presentations of recommended garments.



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