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Freya's Five Step Recovery Plan: Lookbooks & Styling

Freya Spring/Summer 2014
While they try to aim for an edgy or modern angle, Freya's lookbooks fail to communicate any theme or perspective on the collection they're representing. Lately, they've cast the same slender, pale skinned body type and outfitted her with gaudy stilettos, chunky jewelry and over teased hair. The ubiquitous half bored, half drugged "sexy" look can be found on every page, accompanied by the requisite slack jawed pouty mouth and barely open, but bizarrely focused gaze. The environment seems like an afterthought and often clashes with the products they're meant to reinforce. But with a few slight tweaks, they'd have images as brilliant as the ones below:

Huit Autumn/Winter 2010
Freya's stylists and photographers seem to understand what men might find arousing, but they haven't dared to explore what sexually suggestive images would appeal to women. Promotional images are meant to be aspirational, but in Freya's recent catalogs the goal has been off base: I don't want to be the woman who men find arousing, I want to be the aroused woman. The sexiest lingerie images I've seen communicate an internal reaction or suggest a stimulating, intimate surrounding. If Freya wants to portray their lingerie with sexual overtones, I'd be delighted to see a more complex, personal, and experience-driven approach.

Elomi Spring/Summer 2012
By using their model, setting, and accessories as static and stereotypical props, Freya refuses to acknowledge their lookbook as a storytelling device. It's a shame since storytelling lookbooks create a powerful and absorbing connection with viewers and without that link, people are more inclined to dismiss or forget the product they've seen. Catalog narratives don't need to be too detailed, I'm not asking Freya to shoot the lingerie version of Amélie...although, that would be AWESOME! I'm simply suggesting that they use their styling choices to communicate an appealing, distinct scenario. 

Huit Autumn/Winter 2011
Finally, I'm imploring Freya to do something different. Full bust lingerie brands have a conservative reputation, they recycle the same ideas or trends among themselves and when an innovative style comes along, it's copied immediately. If Freya used their lookbooks to step outside of this uninspired clique, they'd demolish the competition. They're currently working on a cheap imitation of this idea: swapping out the backdrops or adding in the occasional pair of sneakers, without letting go of their other hackneyed tactics. They need to challenge themselves to go beyond their comfort zone and focus on finding artistic, unfamiliar ways to portray their collections.

Freya Autumn/Winter 2013
After publishing the Freya: Eveden's Achilles' Heel argument last week, I received an articulate and impassioned outpouring of support from readers, storeowners, and bloggers who felt similarly. The comments on social media and the post itself described a number of complaints and disappointments that I believe are worth addressing individually and if everyone is game, I'd love to brainstorm solutions. These are my thoughts on their lackluster lookbooks -- what would you suggest Freya try in the future?


  1. I'm really starting to dislike Freya's lookbooks. I hate to say it, since I do like a lot of their bras, but the lookbooks are, as you say, just... Lacking. The one for A/W13 in particular, "Electric City" as the website puts it, actually made my head hurt to look at, and was far too distracting for me to enjoy the bras. "BRIGHT LIGHTS wait what color is that bra supposed to be anyway." I feel like it's really more about the model than the lingerie, which is really not what I'm looking for when I look for lingerie, funny enough. It makes me feel detached from the product, because the background and accessories and props are just... Stuff. There's nothing to them. No interaction, nothing to tell me about the kind of person who wears Freya lingerie - except that same model, giving me that same glazed look and equally uninspired poses. Even she seems completely uninterested in what she's wearing. I notice first the model, then the oddness of the background, and THEN the lingerie, and it just doesn't make me want anything. t's a turnoff. And it's really unfortunate, especially since the S/S14 preview you posted last month made me really excited for some of their upcoming releases.

    So, basically, long-winded "YES I AGREE THANK YOU"

    1. Hahaha, Samantha -- I like long winded. ;)

      I'm excited for S/S 14 and I'm glad you liked the preview! I think you've put it brilliantly though, their lookbooks end up leaving me detached too. "Electric City" left a lot to be desired and I agree, it's not visually pleasing...which is the POINT of promo images!

      Hopefully, with comments like your's Freya will be convinced they need to change their art direction.

  2. I agree that the model's expression looks quite disturbing. Sort, drugged.
    Aren't Freya supposed to be 'fun' and 'quirky'? It might help if the models are shown having fun! Perhaps in a place with quirky decor! They could be doing something silly like hula hooping, or...just...anything where one is having a blast! It can be overly sexy or not. But their own copy says "be fun, be exciting, be spontaneous". They could start with that. Sloe-eyed languor doesn't go with spontaneity. Perhaps they have the answer already.

    1. I don't like the drugged look either and you're right to point out that their brand message and these images do not line up AT ALL. I should've mentioned that glaring irregularity!

      LOVE LOVE LOVE the hula hooping idea, hopefully Freya is reading this and found the answer in your suggestion! :)

  3. The Freya Sport photos, on the other hand, look totally badass and I can get behind them.

  4. I agree Freya lookbooks are bad. I don't fit into freya's bra, but it is not a reason to not want their bras, just for fashion, and say "no" to myself, "they are beautiful but will not fit you, don't buy it, even if they look so good". In fact, I am quite happy I don't need Freya bras.
    I am sorry to do publicity for one of my blog post here, but what I say here ( ) works very well with what you say in your post, so you can be interested to read it. Our main difference is I don't think Freya's advertisings are SO much sexy for men, they are, but not as much as the majority of lingerie brands in my opinion.


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