An Inside Look at our Relationship With Cassie Freeman of Hi Sugarplum
We want to take a walk down memory lane for an inside look at our relationship with Cassie Freeman of the Hi Sugarplum blog – how it started and how it's evolved!
At Gibsonlook, we have launched 5 full-scale collaborative collections together with Cassie, not to mention a group holiday project... but how was #gibsonxhisugarplum born, exactly?
Going back reminds us how central Cassie has been since the first collection. In each collaboration through the design process, we worked more closely, but her role has continued to evolve with every amazing launch. Her style and personality shine through in each collection we've launched with her, and we thought now would be the perfect time to appreciate and reflect on our history.
Where it All Started
Going back to the summer of 2018 (when giant flamingo pool floats made an entrance, and IG stories started taking over), we launched the first Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Collection. It was a fantastic kick-off to our partnership and groundwork to our ongoing friendship with Cassie. We knew going into our first few conversations, that Cassie had a loyal following – Nordstrom, in particular, was a fan and follower of Hi Sugarplum, with the Nordstrom Gibsonlook buyer initially suggesting we work together with Cassie on a higher level. And so the scene was set, and the story began!
We combined what we do best, with Cassie's style, and ultimately developed a collection in under two months! Using our signature soft, best-selling fabrics for Cassie's favorite season – SUMMER – everything came together swiftly and efficiently. With a clear sense of her audience and favorite looks, our design team and Cassie were able to create and curate a collection that became the beginning of many to come! It didn't hurt that Gibsonlook and Cassie's vibe is a natural match.
The photoshoot took place along the coast of dreamy Southern California, and from that point on, we knew we wanted to work with Cassie again!
Up Next: Gibson x Glam
This was an exciting moment and turning point for Gibsonlook collaborations. Only five months into our Influencer collaborations, we had the opportunity to work alongside some we had worked with and some new. Again, chasing the fun we were having, the group included a few influencers we had in the past and a close group of Cassie's friends. The Holiday GLAM Party Collection was a new idea and brought together nine content creators. We designed in August, did the photoshoot in LA (in the West Hollywood area) in October and launched in November of 2018. And yes, it was quite literally a holiday party.
The collection itself celebrated GLAM with sequins, velvet, and satin – all things appropriate for a holiday gathering or party! It was refreshing to see how each influencer brought something different to the table through their individual style and taste to reflect their style to their audience. Followers of the collective group were able to come together and follow along throughout the steps of this project. We've stayed friends with all of these women, and the moment inspired us to take a closer look at how we might want to go forward with our collaborations and collections. It was an eye-opening, exciting time and a step in our #gibsonxhisugarplum history.
With each collaboration and the customer feedback we received, we became more enthusiastic about the new way to design what the customer wanted, with a bit of their voice in every collection as we developed to each influencer's personal and built on how that translated to what the customers needs are. We found our way of listening. 2019 became the year to expand this concept and work more collectively with more influencers we love. And ultimately, the first two collections inspired us to build out MANY collaborative collections for the year of 2019!
Gibson x Hi Sugarplum 2019 Resort Collection
So, to kick off the new year, we proposed a resort collection to Cassie and because of Cassie’s LOVE for travel, a Winter Resort collection spoke to us. What better way to escape the winter blues than a collection of fun, bold, bright prints in JANUARY? (Sidenote: this collaboration was in the works during our shoot in LA for the Gibson x Glam collection. It was the perfect time frame and opportunity to include Cassie on the earlier decision making. Through the development of the resort collection, we were able to bring Cassie another step further into the creative process with our designers.)
This was a big collection launch in a lot of ways: first, we designed the pieces as more of a capsule collection – pieces that mixed and matched, fit together, and covered all bases for warm-winter resort vacations. Second, this was the first time Cassie, Suzie Moldavon (makeup artist + eyebrow expert), Val Darling (our amazing photographer), Mama Sugarplum, and Gibsonlook were all together! This moment, combined with the beautiful collection on location at La Serena Villas Resort in Palm Springs, became another pivotal moment for our collaborations.
If you ever have the chance to visit the resort, it’s a MUST!
Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Summer of Color 2019
In the warmer months of 2019, we said hello to our most colorful collection yet: Summer of Color! As you can guess from the title, we emphasized warm feelings of summer, built on bold colors, created styles inspired by the Mediterranean, and continued to create on sets and separates throughout this collection. The photoshoot speaks for itself, but Cassie selected a fun, colorful rental home in Palm Springs – cue every shade of pink you could ever want. With a splash of color just about everywhere you stepped, this location perfectly encapsulated the bold collection.
This collection also marked the first time Cassie actually came out to LA for a designated BTS trip to be 100% present for the design process. She met with the entire Gibsonlook design team, and together we discussed the collection theme. Collaboration has grown with each collection, and by the summer of 2019, Cassie really felt like another piece of our team.
Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Holiday
And just like that, we were back to the Holidays and had something new in mind.
For this Gibson X Hi Sugarplum collection, we wanted to capture the essence of holidays with family: family photos, family gatherings, family traditions, etc. With such a fun collection of plaids and sequins, we shot Cassie in these fabulous pieces at a studio + locations around LA, including the fantastic place where Cassie stayed.
By this point, Hi Sugarplum followers were huge fans of Gibson X Hi Sugarplum collections. Designing with Cassie to develop styles that meet her wants and creative ideas and listening to follower feedback, we excitedly pursued what we hadn't done before, and the group turned out beautifully! We value the opportunity to grow closer to our customers, and these collaborations enable that.
Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Resort 2020
In January of this year, we launched an anniversary Resort collection Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Resort 2020! This collection was inspired by the beautiful Amalfi coast (in hopes that we’d all be going there this year). While 2020 travel plans changed for many, the inspiration still came through in the collection no matter where you’re wearing them at this point.
We shot the collection in Santa Barbara – where it just so happened to be one of the rainiest, windiest days of the year there. Can you tell?? In addition to the rain and laughs, we had time to come up with some new ideas for future designs with Cassie… stay tuned for more to come on that!
The Cavallo Dress & Top
Last but not least, we wanted to highlight the Gibson x Hi Sugarplum best-selling style, which is: The Cavallo Dress! If you’re a regular around here, you know just how popular this dress is - and just recently released in new colors for the season!
The Cavallo Top is (obviously) inspired by its longtime favorite relative, but feels a little more weekday friendly. So, between the two Cavallo styles, you can take that neck ruffle detail with you just about anywhere. Find the top in BLUE LUCCA on Gibsonlook, but if you want to check it out in more colors, head over to Nordstrom.
What other styles have you loved from past collections with Cassie? Think back to your all-time favorite piece that you’re dreaming of seeing again, and comment below! We want to bring back your favorite styles and update them with new colors or patterns. As always, thanks for following along! And stay tuned for what’s coming next…