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I knew that Free People had amaaaazing offices – I’d heard about them, that they share a space in the navy yard with Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie right on the water in Philadelphia…

So the other day when I said yes to doing a talk at the University of Pennsylvania, I thought it’d be a great time to go see them for myself.
I called my friend Lauren, who I worked with on the Lou photos, and we set up a visit…

This is Ana, their director of design and image, and Kristal, their fashion director, who gave me a guided tour – and it didn’t disappoint.

The space is awesome and it has a really cool campus feel. You can see in the photos that there’s a book store, two restaurants, a workout room and you can bring your dog to work. There are meeting rooms everywhere and you can set up where ever you’d like to work. It’s all really inspiring.

Honestly, I was terrified of office life when I was younger. If I would’ve seen images of offices like this, I would’ve been a lot less afraid.

And that gives me a whole bunch of ideas for…. Drum roll please… Our new studio that we’re moving into soon. Aaaaahhhh!

What’s your office culture like? What would you change? Do you like going to the office?

Click on the arrows to see more images…


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89 comments

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  • Carole (NY etc.) April, 12 2013, 9:13 / Reply

    c’est vrai que c’est mieux que mon bureau, ou même tous les bureaux où j’ai travaillé. cette lumière, voilà qui donne la pêche pour aller travailler!

  • CORY SCOTT April, 12 2013, 9:13

    OMG this is so amazing! Beautiful space indeed!
    Paris-NYC Fashion Blog
    The Deep Blue Cory Fashion Blog
    The Deep Blue Cory Facebook Page
    Xoxo Cory

  • Charlotte April, 12 2013, 9:13 / Reply

    THIS IS AMAZING!!! Comme d’hab Garance… comme d’hab tu nous fait rêver.. voir des choses qui font tellement envie de sortir des sentiers qu’on connaît… ton blog m’a fait réaliser tellement de choses! MERCI!!

  • VV1721 April, 12 2013, 9:20 / Reply

    Beautiful pics, I work in very nice building, glass and steel (ceramic tiles industry) and I travel world wide. I follow dutyfull yours and Scott’s blogs in order to get inspirations for places where I’m going.
    I love most of yours (both) posts, I don’t like the pics of the runawys shows (boring).
    I wish in my working enviroment everybody could dress a little more formal, I don’t see anything wrong in suits or blazers with a tie instead of sweaters.

  • suite 910 April, 12 2013, 9:20 / Reply

    Oui des locaux comme ceux-là en réconcilieraient beaucoup avec la vie de bureau. Mais ce n’est la réalité que de très peu de personnes.
    Merci pour ces photos, j’aime beaucoup les vitres d’ atelier, les coussins, les pots de plantes immense, les tissus des chaises, c’est vraiment inspirant

    L.
    http://suite910.com/

  • Amanda Pritchard April, 12 2013, 9:21 / Reply

    I work at an University that was founded to help educate people for the Sports Industry. Enter: The United States Sports Academy. I love my job working at the Academy. The building is beautiful and has even been featured in an architecture book.

    At first the office culture was thought to be very “Mad Men”. The uppers have “girls” that write emails from DICTATION! It’s so old-school but we like to laugh about it. We’re all also required to dress up everyday. At first, I was weary about that but I think “dressing for the job you want” is a good philosophy to live by. Plus, my closet is growing and looks too legit now! Now that I’ve worked here for awhile, I realize that while it is more formal the people here are not.. so that makes up for any red tape.

    I’m lusting over these shots of Free People. I wouldn’t expect anything less! They have such liberated style. I wish I could work there! :)

    Excited about your ventures and LOVE you and your blog! You are my favorite! xoxo

  • Manon April, 12 2013, 9:22 / Reply

    C’est magnifique… En effet, ça a l’air inspirant, décontracté, zen… Tes photos donnent une atmosphère de rêve à cet endroit… Pourquoi tous les locaux ne sont pas comme ça ? Le monde du travail traditionnel doit vraiment se remettre dans le droit chemin, surtout en France ! Ca commence un peu avec le concept des cantines numériques mais le chemin est encore très long pour les entreprises en elles-même…

  • Madara April, 12 2013, 9:22 / Reply

    This is inspiring – inspiring for work. Has this homelike effect and just breaths creativity! If I will ever work in office… I hope it will look this fantastic! Lucky people who works there! :))

    Madara

    http://www.madarafreimane.com

  • Aliya April, 12 2013, 9:27 / Reply

    It’s SO beautiful, it almost makes me want to move to Philly. I saw photos of UO’s space, but FP is better…I bet Anthropologie’s space is beyond beautiful. Beautiful photos Garance!

  • Cecilia April, 12 2013, 9:31 / Reply

    It’s a really beautiful space and the decoration is “friendly”. It would be really nice to work in such a big and comfortable space. We spend the main part of our life at work nowadays! I hope for you that your next studio will look a bit like this!
    http://modeskinen.blogspot.com

  • Rachelle April, 12 2013, 9:31 / Reply

    What an amazing space the have, I want to work there.

    xo
    http://pinksole.com

  • lola April, 12 2013, 9:34 / Reply

    OMG! Que j’aimerais travailler là-bas!! Y vivre même! :)

  • Virginie/Mode9 April, 12 2013, 9:37 / Reply

    Un bien bel espace qui respire la sérénité !! enfin toutes tes photos respirent la sérénité !!! Tu es maître Ioda ou quoi :-)
    http://www.mode9.fr

  • D.H. April, 12 2013, 9:39 / Reply

    Ouahouuu ! Je suis bouche bée devant cet environnement de travail absolument déroutant. On se croirait presque en vacances.

  • Em April, 12 2013, 9:41 / Reply

    I feel that anyone would be comfortable in an office setting if their workspace looked like this! I always think that the best office spaces have plenty of light and these fit the bill.

    I’m jealous you got to visit! I hope you had a wonderful time!

    xoxo, Em

  • Alex April, 12 2013, 9:48 / Reply

    Ces lieux sont juste impressionnants! Ca doit être un réel plaisir de travailler dans un décor pareil!

  • sev April, 12 2013, 9:50 / Reply

    Très très original ! Un peu trop vintage à mon goût mais réellement très inspirant !!

  • Paprika April, 12 2013, 9:53 / Reply

    Waoh la deco est super bien j’adore! Es-ce que tu connais l’architecte qui a fait Urban Outfitters?xx

  • perre April, 12 2013, 10:01 / Reply

    Whaow !!! nan mais moi je peux pas y bosser, j’y vit, j’y dors… ou je pique discretos le matériel pour le ramener chez moi le soir après la taff !!! Dingue !!!!

  • Monica Lee April, 12 2013, 10:12 / Reply

    I MUST have those covers office chairs for my studio. And do you think they would let me just move right in? The lighting is just delicious.

  • Quinn Cooper April, 12 2013, 10:12 / Reply

    Loving these offices. The oversized plants really bring life along with all the colorful furniture. Looks like an amazing environment to work in!
    xo Quinn
    Quinn Cooper Style

  • 40 and so what April, 12 2013, 10:13 / Reply

    Et pourquoi j’ai pas le même bureau à Paris, moi ?!

  • marc April, 12 2013, 10:15 / Reply

    Bel espace ! Le chien est trop mignon aussi.

  • Gary April, 12 2013, 10:21 / Reply

    Merci Garance d’arrêter nos regards sur cet espace où, en effet, il semble bon y travailler. :)

  • Lidia & Aleksandra April, 12 2013, 11:00 / Reply

    In our city Krakow, there is an opening of Wytwórnia (The Factory), which will be an open space for creative people, where they will be able to do a whole bunch of amazing and creative stuff, starting from graphic/fashion design ending with print making etc. It has as well a chill out space and wi-fi internet, and the idea is to pay a monthly fee for a free 24/7 access to this space :) It sounds amazing and I can’t wait for the place to open. What is more it is arranged in an old factory building, so it has amazing very bright industrial space :)

    I guess it might look similarr to the one from your pictures :)

    Love,
    Aleksandra
    of Make It Doublee

    http://makeitdoublee.blogspot.com/

  • Monsieur J April, 12 2013, 11:03 / Reply

    Amaaaazing!!! c’est que le prénom.

  • S. April, 12 2013, 11:04 / Reply

    I worked as a journalist in the London office of one of the biggest news organizations in the world and a Fortune 100 company. The office? No natural light, dingy carpets, nowhere to eat lunch (just at your desk), terrible lighting, bland office furniture, no plants, and unsurprisingly, miserable unsmiling people.

    Everyday I thought to myself: how am I meant to write something intelligent and engaging for our global audience, if I feel like I am battling with my environment? So many employers just don’t get it. The office environment was a significant part of the reason I handed my resignation two months ago. It was utterly uninspiring everyday.

  • pepperoncina April, 12 2013, 11:05 / Reply

    En effet! Ces bureaux sont plutôt cool!!

  • Kristal April, 12 2013, 11:07 / Reply

    Hello Garance!
    It was so lovely to visit with you and your team..thank you for coming to Free People and sharing your enthusiasm…your energy is contagious! Congratulations on the new office space, can’t wait to see it.
    Xx
    Kristal

  • Maya April, 12 2013, 11:11 / Reply

    Bahaha, as long as I’m concerned ‘no-office’ is ‘the-best-office’! But I wouldn’t mind working in one like this, if I’d have to. :)

  • Charlotte Beatrice April, 12 2013, 11:16 / Reply

    Dear lord, I am jealous….!
    I work for a super awesome Californian brand in the Netherlands, but the ‘upgrade’ of our office is far away like this dream-like story..!

    Too bad your post is too late to inspire my manager, due to the new contract and plans are allready signed :(

  • Laura April, 12 2013, 11:49 / Reply

    C’est gigantesque, et la déco est super! Ca doit être un vrai plaisir de travailler là!

    http://www.laurablogmode.com

  • judi April, 12 2013, 11:57 / Reply

    Those offices are awesome. I could see never wanting to leave work. Speaking of work and offices, it would be great to do a post on cool office wear…. Many people are not in the ultra conservative world but still need to look professional. I constantly struggle with dressing appropriate but still stylish. I would love your thoughts.

  • Denisa April, 12 2013, 12:05 / Reply

    It is inspiring. Great friday.

    http://www.fashiondenis.com/

  • Jessica April, 12 2013, 12:10 / Reply

    Mourance <3

    C'est juste le genre de bureau où chacun rêverait de bosser !

    xx.

  • Sevan April, 12 2013, 12:18 / Reply

    En revant un peu (beaucoup), j’aimerais vivre dans cet espace. La lumiere, les plafonds et les poutres industrielles : j’adore !

  • Jeanne Berre April, 12 2013, 12:26 / Reply

    Des bureaux comme on les aime, une vraie maison. Effectivement cela donne beaucoup d’idées !!!

  • Carole b April, 12 2013, 1:09 / Reply

    Trop top, quand je vois l’open space dans lequel je travaille…..juste envie de chialer!

  • Gita April, 12 2013, 1:12 / Reply

    I love Free People. Their products, philosophy, staff – everything :)… Beautiful shots!

    xx
    http://gita-oddsandends.blogspot.com/

  • Eva April, 12 2013, 1:12 / Reply

    What an amazing office, the space, the furniture, the colors, the materials! I wouldn’t run out of inspiration when I was working here! xx

    http://www.creativityandchocolate.com

  • Gab April, 12 2013, 1:18 / Reply

    So often work spaces are devoid of all interest – I think in the mistaken belief that distraction-free environments will increase productivity. I’d certainly be a lot more eager to get to work and a lot more reluctant to go home if my office looked like this! It looks as though some areas have really been personalized by the inhabitants. Being able to shape the space you work in … too exciting!!

  • Guro April, 12 2013, 1:25 / Reply

    Wow, that looks amazing! I wish my office was like that… My work office is quite boring and dreary, but I find that more important than the office itself is the people who work there. And I am blessed with great colleagues! (Although surroundings are important of course.)

  • Kate April, 12 2013, 1:41 / Reply

    just gorgeous! i don’t go in to an office anymore, but i would love to go to work in a space like that.

  • Christelle April, 12 2013, 1:46 / Reply

    ah ! quelle chance

  • Milda April, 12 2013, 2:40 / Reply

    Oh Jeeez! This is my DREAM office!!! So cozy and uhhh…cute!!! :)

  • Dea April, 12 2013, 3:44 / Reply

    Dream office! That’s how all creative businesses should have their offices as it’s never good to look over a creative’s mind shoulder.

    http://www.timelessdifference.com

  • soniachocolat April, 12 2013, 4:02 / Reply

    Wouahou! C’est magnifique! Je veux emménager là bas!

  • Magsymou April, 12 2013, 4:22 / Reply

    This is one amazing work space. The fabrics are amazing and I especially love the re-upholstered Charles Eames Alu office chairs – inspired idea (think I might have to copy that idea with my Eames chair!).

  • Judith A. Ross April, 12 2013, 5:31 / Reply

    This is a great post and a great question. Most of the open space offices I have worked in have been so sterile — row after row of grey cubicles. That atmosphere has always been soul-sucking for me. I envy you in knowing that you didn’t want to deal with that right from the start. As a writer, my surroundings are very important to me, which is why I love working from home, where I can control the look and feel of my environment.

    That said, I would love to work in a studio like the one pictured above. As always, thank you for the daily inspiration. And if you have time to check out my blog, you will see that I am currently in Morocco!

  • princessglee April, 12 2013, 5:39 / Reply

    Hmmm, you’re not your usual busy, bubbly self on this post. Is there something left unsaid of Free People?

    My teensy tiny office is 2 full-timers and 2 part-timers. Sometimes some bring their babies, pets and fruits and vegetables from the garden. We’re all kind to each other and try to keep the office drama-free, although we have opinions about the drama of others in the building. We say please and thank you to each other and sometimes there’s long periods of silence and I believe we’re all comfortable with it. We all concentrate on improving our work and home life and that’s typically what we bond over. It’s been this way for me for three years and I always look forward to going to the office.

  • lola April, 12 2013, 6:17 / Reply

    Très ressemblant à un loft d’artiste avec l’atmosphère studieuse décontracte, meubles chinés et dépareillés, chien, photos et petits objets souvenir pense bête. Très chouette !

  • Colony April, 12 2013, 7:08 / Reply

    I LOVE the furniture! I’m so embarrassed to say that my corporate office is pretty drab, and that is completely my fault! I cannot commit to art on my own walls. It’s tragic!

    On a happier note, what’s the name of the doggie? So adorable.

  • Newborn Fanatic April, 12 2013, 7:10 / Reply

    What an awesome and relaxing setup! It must be really nice to work there! :)

    http://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com/

  • whatisinmyworld April, 12 2013, 7:24 / Reply

    What an inspirational space to work in. Thank you for sharing your photos. I have heard about their offices but have never been or seen photos of the space. Very impressive. I would love to have offices like they do. My favorite office was when I worked for Perry Ellis.

  • Eluema April, 12 2013, 7:30 / Reply

    Oh mon Dieu! L’endroit rêvé pour travailler :)

    L’atmosphère sympathique, la déco bohème chic…j’adore.

    Merci d’avoir mis du soleil dans cette journée de tempête de neige à Montréal :)

    -Eluema-

  • whatisinmyworld April, 12 2013, 7:38 / Reply

    I have heard about their amazing offices but never have had the opportunity to see a photos. What an inspiring space. I would love to work in a similar environment. My favorite office space was when I worked at Perry Ellis. It was the late 80′s and the space was fabulous.

  • Elo April, 12 2013, 8:14 / Reply

    Wow! Ça respire tellement la créativité! C’est beau et inspirant.
    Thanks Garance for sharing!

    http://suelleninmontreal.blogspot.ca

  • Ana April, 12 2013, 8:29 / Reply

    Wow!! Amazing! I would love to work in a place like this! Unfortunately, right now, my Office is too crowded and messy…:(

    This is one of my favorite posts ever! It’s Nice to have other inspirations besides clothes and shoes!

  • Anika Zebron April, 13 2013, 1:20 / Reply

    Dream office space! Wow, I honestly wouldn’t have imagined such spaces existed and now…well, now I’m just envious. I actually work in education, so my thoughts are running toward how amazing it would be to have a classroom that had the same sort of vibe. Love the openness, the comfort, the clean feel, and the obvious catering to the needs of the employees. Happy environment, productive people! Love it, thanks for sharing.

  • jonalysprecious April, 13 2013, 1:43 / Reply

    Waou, quels bureaux ! Ce serait tout simplement mon rêve de travailler dans un lieu pareil !!!! Malheureusement, en France, je pense que les entreprises sont encore loin de créer de tels lieux de travail
    En tout cas, ces photos sont superbes et il se dégage une atmosphère très apaisante et joyeuse ! Bravo à Free People !

  • Margarita April, 13 2013, 1:54 / Reply

    To be honest, before I found my current job I was unemployed for years, so finding *anything* was pretty much awesome enough. It’s not the prettiest place to work, but at least I am seated far away enough from other people that I can actually listen to music. Which is better than any furniture or trappings or whatever, since my main visual at work is my computer screens!

  • céline April, 13 2013, 1:56 / Reply

    quel espace stimulant et inspirant!! le rêve!! je pourrais aller bosser en chantant
    !!

  • Anna April, 13 2013, 4:55 / Reply

    époustouflant ! on aimerait presque y vivre !!

  • Miss Y. April, 13 2013, 5:26 / Reply

    I actually worked multiple jobs in offices that would scare you as a little girl and as a grown women, Garance. Everything was grey, from the desks to the carpets and most of the walls. They tried to liven up the space with some plants here and there or some posters that were so old that all the colours were faded. It was a bit depressing from time to time I have to admit. All the greyness didn’t bring any positive energy.

    Unfortunately, that’s how it is in many large companies. Maybe in the U.S. people are a bit more creative about this, but in Europe, if you’re not in an artistic or creative profession, that’s just what it’s like for many people.

  • Isa tout simplement ... April, 13 2013, 6:48 / Reply

    Exactement le style de décoration que j’aimerais pour mon appart !
    J’adore !

    http://www.isatoutsimplement.org

  • emmanuelle April, 13 2013, 8:23 / Reply

    Amaaaaazing ! Halluuuuuucinant !

  • Maria Cristina Acquaroni April, 13 2013, 10:03 / Reply

    Are you kidding me??? That is amazing!!! That is one cool place to work at!!! I’m feeling really envious right now haha

  • Théa Unknown April, 13 2013, 11:20 / Reply

    Super endroit!

    xx
    Théa

  • Janani April, 13 2013, 12:34 / Reply

    Hi Garance – Thanks so much for sharing this, these photos have given me so much inspiration! Their offices are so beautiful and calming – I love the wood furniture.

    My work place is all about cunicles and glass walled conference rooms – I would love to work in a space like this. I believe our environment plays an important role in how we feel and work!

  • A story about you April, 13 2013, 2:56 / Reply

    Wahou! C’est trop beau! J’aimerai bien bosser dans un endroit comme ça moi !

  • Melle C la futile April, 14 2013, 6:46 / Reply

    C’est juste magnifique!
    C’est dommage qu’en France, on n’importe pas ce concept, et qu’un bureau doive rester très formel… Parce qu’il n’y a pas dire, aller travailler dans un environnement comme celui-ci, c’est tout de suite plus motivant et agréable!

  • Margaret April, 14 2013, 3:49 / Reply

    I teach in Philadelphia, and last summer we took a group of international students enrolled in a summer program to UO to tour the campus and meet Dick Hayne. Dick gave the kids a fabulous tour of the campus and the office spaces. It is really great how much of the history of the buildings they tried to preserve and repurpose. My favorite were these U-shaped recesses that the Navy originally used to bend sheets of steel. UO filled them with water and aquatic plants and made them into koi ponds in this beautiful open space that has tables for meeting, a coffee stand, and is on the pathway to the main dining canteen. It really is a lovely space. What I also loved was that the canteen/dining room is open to any of the employees working in the navy yard. There was such a mix of people in there for lunch the day we went. Master plumbers sitting next to designers, and everyone enjoying a delicious lunch in this beautiful light filled & airy space. Every teacher in our group was a little green with envy!

  • carol April, 14 2013, 6:24 / Reply

    god, I loved the lightness of their walls with the texture of the brick. also liked the subtle rainbow colors of the yarns on the cube (?) walls/partitions. the dog was also adorable. my long term goal is to either work at home so I can have the dog around all the time or work in an office where they allow dogs.
    I would also be happy to work in the restaurant space of Free People. I like how it feels airy, light, and a little rustic. natural light and windows are a priority for my work or living environment.
    thanks for sharing your photos of the Free People space. very beautiful.

  • 2moiselles April, 15 2013, 1:58 / Reply

    Comment fait on pour postuler là-bas. Je veux y aller:)) C’est trop beau et ça redonne du blason à la vision du travail en bureau

  • Beauty Follower April, 15 2013, 3:31 / Reply

    Ideal place to work!
    Well in Athens even boss’s room hasnt have a style lol.

  • handMODE April, 15 2013, 4:16 / Reply

    Très beaux espaces et photos. Mais pour mourir moins bête: ils font de la déco chez Free People? Sans doute…
    Merci bonne journée

  • Binette April, 15 2013, 12:42 / Reply

    Vraiment zen, ca doit etre agreable de bosser la bas…
    Great pictures!
    http://www.lebazhaar.com

  • Malika April, 15 2013, 9:52 / Reply

    Je suis a Philadelphie en ce moment and literally can’t wait to go check this place out!! MERCI!!!! xxx

  • Jenn April, 16 2013, 3:31 / Reply

    I love Free People, it’s so great to be able to have a peak into their office space – thank you! Such a fun and inspiring space, an lovely photos!

  • jon corbett April, 18 2013, 9:51 / Reply

    i work here! the open floor plan lends itself nicely to our yoga tea breaks. today i brought enough gazpacho soup for everyone (it’s tomato soup served ice cold)!

  • Mun April, 19 2013, 4:19 / Reply

    Working in a space like this is so nourishing for the creative minds!

  • roma April, 21 2013, 2:41 / Reply

    Wahou! C’était déjà un de mes rêves de pouvoir faire un stage dans leur bureaux de style, mais alors là, ça deviens carrément le rêve number 1 !!
    Dis moi, tu y as croisé des stagiaires? Ou est-ce que tu penses que c’est peine perdu?

  • Maurane May, 21 2014, 1:29 / Reply

    Salut!
    Cette été, je vais à Philadelphie et je voulais savoir comment vous avez faites pour visiter les bureaux de Free People. Je veux travailler dans la mode et je serais vraiment interssé à visiter ces bureaux!
    Merci

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