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You know a Free People model when you see one. She's the girl in the farmers market wearing an incredible caftan, or maybe she's in your yoga class, impressively coordinating her layers of bra and tank straps. Perhaps she lives in a house that could easily double as a sweet summer camp, or she could be at a music festival donning a floral crown like she was born wearing it.
But, to really understand what being a Free People model is all about, we went straight to the source. In March, the brand teamed up with IMG Models and Jed Root to hold its Open Call talent contest for a model, photographer, and stylist. Friday marks the launch of the retailer's June catalog and the debut of the three competition winners — and we're giving you the first peek here.
Meet Elizabeth Sawatzky, the new face of Free People (although you'd assume she was an old pro by her photos)."There’s such a signature look," she says, "Just the warmth of the filter or the sea salt spray hair, and I just love the effortlessness. I feel like it’s an acceptance of self. Just, ‘This is who I am, and I’m going to have a good time. We’re just all here to make something bigger together.'" And, that's exactly what the 18-year-old, recent high-school grad did a few days ago as she danced on a rooftop in boho maxi-dresses with her arms full of bangles and perfectly messy hair that looked like it was crafted by a beauty wizard.
Rounding out the winners are Jens Ingvarsson, a photographer who snapped FP alum Erin Wasson for the issue, and Jill Mason, a Portland resident who scored a styling gig. You may recognize Ingvarsson as the man behind many of R29's prettiest features, and perhaps you know Mason from her boutique flower shop where she styled flora before moving on to people (very Free People, no?).
Click on for the behind-the-scenes glimpse at what it really takes to be the face of the brand, as well as a first look at the June catalog.