ESPRIT, PURPOSE & FREEDOM

I’m a big believer of signs, especially when it comes to personal reflection. I think that many things happen to keep us introspecting ourselves, I believe, as if we were meant to constantly reflect on ourselves, to better ourselves. It might sound cheesy, but that’d only be because of the way I put it, because when you think about it, isn’t it what we’re meant to thrive for? Become better?

I consider myself my own homework, and I used to struggle with it, but now I love it. I’m in no way perfect or even that mentally stable to start with, but I decided a little while ago to be my own huge project, and like with any project, you have these amazing highs, but some lows might sting a little harder and a little longer. But then Esprit calls to ask me to take part in a powerful project (an d you can become the face of their new campaign, more details at the end of the article) and that’s another sign. Over the last three seasons, Esprit has powerfully articulated its brand purpose of “Live Unbounded by the Rules of Fashion” via the #ImPerfect campaigns and has sparked a cultural conversation that shook the perceptions of fashion. This year their goal is diversity and self-determination, and they’ve asked me to join the conversation and share my personal statement.

The first one that comes to my mind and gets it excited is #ImFreedom. Without a doubt, and it’s a great opportunity to reflect on myself and my goals, at a time where to be honest, I’ve been quite overwhelmed with the pressure I put myself under.

 

From a fashion point of view, Freedom is always my favourite statement and so power suits have to be staples, from this mansy stripy number, to the chic white two-piece, I’m seen and undefined. But I also do bright colours, casual; the retro floral jacquard blazer and the cut out loafers are here to say there’s only one Freddie, but there are many of us, we’re loud and you can’t box us up.

 

But it’s funny that #ImFreedom is the first thing that comes to my mind, because I’ve been losing sight of this lately. I’ve started off 2017 with the decision to go BIG this year, or to go home. I was so excited; I’m turning 30 this year and I wanted this year to count. I’ve been moved by the fever of these global revolutions we’re fearlessly spreading, from Black Lives Matter that means an awful lot to me, to the Women’s March. I cried when we collected the Oscars this year, Viola Davis, Mahershala Ali, I cried again when Edward Enninful got appointed Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue. I see more and more amazing people like Reggie Yates, Michaela Coel, Clara Amfo on TV, on Netflix, and all of this made me want in. As a Woman, as a Black Woman, as Freddie, 2017 was going to be my year. This moment has come, you can witness more and more of us rising and growing, I don’t know about you but I’m hopping on the bandwagon! But Freddie style also means getting a bit too intense and burying myself under massive targets and pressure. I have nothing to complain about. Everything got and more and more exciting lately, we’re finally moving back to London next week so Tom, Hugo and I can be closer to friends and family, and I can give my career every chance, Big Hair No Care is about to get BIGGER and I was so happy and excited about everything that I didn’t notice how little I was listening to my body, who in fact, wasn’t happy and excited at all. First I was overtired, I would sleep for hours but I would never seemed to catch up, but now sleeping is a challenge in itself, I’m so stressed and anxious that I now have a stomach ulcer flaring up for the best part of the day.

We genuinely all are #ImFreedom, we lose sight of it when we stop looking at the bigger picture, we get short-sighted by panicky feelings, but in most cases, it’s always very much our choice to think BIG and to GROW.

 

I got randomly invited (no really I was super mega flattered because they said they had invited the 50 most thoughts provoking people they knew…) to this amazing yoga and meditation retreat the other weekend, again one of these signs I told you I really believe in, because it brought me my sight back. I had never been into yoga or exercise before, but what I didn’t know is how amazing it is to feel your body strength, to feel your spine harden and elongate. I realised that to be half the businesswoman and fashion content creator I set myself to be this year, I needed both my mind and body to feel strong. I used to really be into meditation and lost the habit when I moved to Geneva, but this retreat reminded me to set aside 2 moments a day to shut it down up there.

We tend to oversaturate our minds and not work our bodies, when really we should always take the time to sush it up up there, and to strengthen our cores.

I can’t wait to be settled in our new life in London, to really work on a routine that’s going to help me reach my growth goals, and let go of the stress and the anxiety.

 

My purpose became clearer these last few days, and I’m going to share it with you in a form of a statement to join Esprit’s powerful conversation:

 

#ImFreedom.

My purpose it to overcome myself. To seize this life I’ve been given, to use the capabilities I’ve been given to the maximum, to explore myself fully, to inspire women to rally together, to inspire young black women to shift expectations; we might not be expected to become much, but we’re humans, limitless.

This over introspective brain of mine that I’ve always seen as a burden, has a purpose too, and it’s to serve my growth and this journey towards self-becoming.

My purpose is also to love fully and fearlessly, to never stop giving to those who matter the most.

I’m going to grow Freddie Harrel, I want to document this journey, bring the voice out, speak it, hear it.

Big Hair No Care is going to be huge. I want to grow something for our community and want it to be as impeccable as it can be, because we deserve that the things that are only for us are done as well as anything mainstream.

I want to make it seem possible for every woman who started off insecure, who felt like they didn’t fit, who felt inferior, to reveal their inner crafter. Before I am black, before I am woman, I am Freddie and I want to explore what it means and bring its best out.

 

What about you? What’s your statement? I’m feeling so energised again and have so many exciting personal challenges for 2017, tell me what are your challenges and bold statements I want to hear them all! And if you share them with your photos, you could become the face of the Esprit campaign! Share your photos on Instagram tagging @esprit and using #ImEsprit + your own #Im statement (i.e: #ImFuture, #ImChange, #ImPassion, #ImLove, #ImCourage, etc.).

 

Lots of love,

Freddie x

 


Photos credit: Nicole Hertel

Outfit details:

T-shirt dress | Esprit

Stripy blazer | Esprit

Stripy trousers | Esprit

White blazer | Esprit

White trousers | Esprit

Loafers  | Esprit

Floral jacket | Esprit

Denim dress | Esprit


ImEsprit, Esprit, Freddie Harrel. Nicole Hertel

 ImEsprit, Esprit, Freddie Harrel. Nicole Hertel 
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 ImEsprit, Esprit, Freddie Harrel. Nicole Hertel

ImEsprit, Esprit, Freddie Harrel. Nicole HertelImEsprit, Esprit, Freddie Harrel. Nicole HertelImEsprit, Esprit, Freddie Harrel. Nicole HertelImEsprit, Esprit, Freddie Harrel. Nicole HertelImEsprit, Esprit, Freddie Harrel. Nicole HertelImEsprit, Esprit, Freddie Harrel. Nicole HertelImEsprit, Esprit, Freddie Harrel. Nicole HertelImEsprit, Esprit, Freddie Harrel. Nicole HertelImEsprit, Esprit, Freddie Harrel. Nicole Hertel
 ImEsprit, Esprit, Freddie Harrel. Nicole Hertel

 

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By Freddie

Paris-born, London-based All smiles sass bag, personal stylist, confidence consultant & Top UK fashion blogger. I help women claim their confidence and power back through workshops and videos. Frankie's not my name.

Comments (12)
  1. Veronica May 29, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Freddie,

    This is such an amazing message you have right here.
    It’s an understatement to say I agree more than 100% with your message in this post.
    It’s amazing how I took a break from writing a blog post on which I was sharing something similar in regards to what fashion is.
    My statement is simply, #IAMME
    I go through different phases, I go through different emotions. In all that, I want to eat different food , listen to different music, wear different clothes. Most times it reflects what I am feeling or how l want to feel and what I want to hide. In all those seasons, phases, emotions… IAMME
    I have learned to accept those ch ages and to allow them take their time because they are crucial to my better ME, the ME I am working on to be.
    Indeed it all gets too much and I, too forget sometimes to take care of mind and body and keep racing until I’m completely worn out and takes more time to get back. Instead of taking mini breaks every now and again to recouperate so it’s easier to get back and continue.
    I am slowly learning and understanding how important it is to take of me.
    Veronica xo

    • Freddie May 30, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Totally with you on everything! First, your statement is simple yet super strong! I AM ME, and that’s plenty I want to add!! Then, I’m happy to see I’m not the only one chasing dreams and forgetting to look after myself ahah, at least we can both plead to do better and hold each other accountable for it heheh xxxxx

  2. Anaya_Nametso May 29, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    This is power my Freddie. I love it.

  3. Beatriz Geraldo May 30, 2017 at 3:40 am

    Hi Freddie.
    Great statement. Funny enough I hit rock bottom this year after having a successful life the past 32 years. Which is my current age. At the age of 16 my sister and I started designing clothes, a month later we had a fashion show at my high school. Which lead to us joining a young entrepreneur’s competition 2 months later & we won. From there my successes never stopped. We went on to win the best young designer award the next year. Then I move to Cape Town for college, because my sisters couldn’t afford to pay for university in Namibia where I lived. It at first looked like my doors were closing, because all my friends would get a degree & I was going for a certificate course. It instead ended up teaching me to to go for my dreams and also that where my real heritage laid, that’s where I would find myself. This happened by me hanging with inspired locals who were fighting for their dreams. I went back to Namibia a year later and continued with our successful label just to be shut down the same year by locals who claimed we were taking away the jobs and space of the real Namibians. Another heartbreak! But this time my mind was prepared to take on a lot more.
    You see we were Angolan (a war stricken country for many years) immigrants who were practically born and raised in Botswana. When my dad died (I was 12years old) we were moving back to Angola. A recent post war Portuguese speaking country, with a mother who was a house wife with 8 kids raised somewhat luxury. Ended up with a widow with kids and nowhere to go. But our parents had always taught us that, it’s not about how much money you have, it’s how you spent it that mattered. We raised ourselves with our mother, by hard work & diligence. And got back on our high horse. We lost it all again at the break of the second civil war in 1998. When we moved to Namibia. Having been through all this. We managed to fight our way back up. Until we were again chased out of the fashion industry as per the beginning of my story. As grown up in my early 20s I felt unstoppable. My sister & I packed up and headed of to live with my mom who built a small little house in a remote town by the border. Tired of being labeled a foreigner / immigrant she left the luxuries of chandeliers & running waters & just went home. We joined her, lived in a one room house. Built it with our bear hands – “Yes, us ladies layering bricks.” And we made a stunning getaway place. For 2 years we enjoyed the remote life, then decided we were destined for me. We moved to the capital Luanda. This fabulous fast growing metropolitan and put our hands to work. While having an 8 to 5. We rebuilt our label. Two years later we were topping the local magazine charts, Fashion weeks, nominated Best designers 3 times but never took the price. Had fashion shows in New York & Lisbon & featured in the 1st Forbes Africa. But could never grow further in country as much as we hustled. Because having the right surname spoke louder. That didn’t stop us from making the life we worked hard for in our 8 to 5 jobs. I am proud to say, we have our mother back the luxurious life our father had given us. We travel and can afford many of the things we like.
    But this came at the expense of killing my creativity and mental fatigue from all the suffering and endurance. This also caused ones vision and purpose slip further away. As we stopped focusing on our dream to provide for our necessities.
    Earlier this I reached a point were my job meant nothing because it is purely based on serving my needs. I am a young black woman, in my 30s with no degree. Still Chasing some of my necessities. Nowhere close to my dreams. Stuck in a country that will not allow me to flourish.
    This caused me to search deep inside me, and find what my purpose was, what made me reach this far. Create this great reputation, have all that I have today. I was writing down my resume cover letter and as I went through all I have done, what I have contributed to others and to the world. It lead me to discover that I AM FREE, there are no limits, nothing holding me but my mind. I have managed to reach positions that many non black people with degrees couldn’t in my 20s. Imagine what I can do in my 30s, anywhere in the world. Tapping into what I was truly meant to do. Ample things and great magnitude. I discovered that the world is our oyster, and I’m yet to find my pearl. But most of all I discovered that #IAMAMASTERPIECE.

    So I have set of planning a whole new life for me!
    Thank you Freddie for being an inspiration.

  4. Berlange Presilus May 31, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Crazy how I woke up not feeling up to anything. I had a challenging night with random cramps due to my syndrome (Klippel Trenaunay). I did my prayer and decided to check out your blog right after. This is exactly what I needed. This message! It came handy as i felt encouraged and inspired. I was also reminded of the promises I made to myself for this year. My statement is #IAMPOSSIBLE. Inspite of the different phases that I go through, I still stand with my best foot forward trying to reach for the stars because I AM POSSIBLE!

  5. Estha June 2, 2017 at 11:04 am

    OMG Freddie, I love you!!! lol. But for real though, you are a badass! I am always super excited and inspired when I read your posts and this one didn’t disappoint. You are truly an inspiration and I cannot wait to see you shine even brighter.

  6. Olka June 14, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Great post! You’re so positive person!
    I think my statement would be #ImJustAHuman. I learned that every people are different and we have to accept it. Everybody can make mistakes and we can’t to condemn anyone because of that.
    We’re just people – we have to dream and make these dreams come true. We have to live our lives and don’t judge anyone. But we should also think about other people – we’re not alone at this world 🙂
    Take care!

  7. Olka June 14, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Great post! You’re so positive person!
    I think my statement would be #ImJustAHuman. I learned that every people are different and we have to accept it. Everybody can make mistakes and we can’t to condemn anyone because of that.
    We’re just people – we have to dream and make these dreams come true. We have to live our lives and don’t judge anyone. But we should also think about other people – we’re not alone at this world 🙂

    Take care!

  8. Pippi Hepburn June 14, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Big hair, don’t care, haha! Love it. Yes, this is the year for us to stop beating ourselves up and to love ourselves and other women. Thanks for sharing your inspirational message. I’m ready to work on personal and professional growth too, and it’s happening!

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