To be perfectly blunt, we've always thought Free People was a particularly pretentious, particularly over-priced clothing chain trading in particularly horrid sweatshop-made fast fashion of the boho ilk, but now we really loathe this store.
Last month, the company rolled out a specialty 'vintage' collection available exclusively online. In addition to being scandalously over-priced, the compilation is peppered with contemporary pieces being passed off as vintage and actual vintage impressively mis-dated despite labels, content tags and other basic clues to the garments' ages. In perhaps the most egregious example (see above) of faux vintage and daft dating, the curator claims that a reproduction gentleman's shirt currently selling for $65 on the maker's website (and $228 on the Free People site) dates to the 19th century! Ooops! And there are two more such shirts available, coincidentally. Ooops again!
And perhaps we're just cranky, but $212 for what may or may not be a mid-century dress with unhemmed sleeves is bananas. (As is the fact that a customer had to ask about fabric content, label, construction and approximate era on a 60s skirt boldly priced at $212.) We appreciate that vintage dating is not a precise art, and we recognize that Free People's price point is going to be higher than other vintage shops by virtue of its higher operating costs, but this vintage collection seems, to us, to rely and prey on the fact that the average Free People shopper is not particularly educated about vintage or the marketplace within which it circulates. Though it's certainly not FP's job to mentor them, it would be nice--and more consistent with the store's hippie 'fantasy' theme--if they didn't totally exploit this knowledge gap, too.