Free Spirit: From barefoot in Brazil to the catwalks of New York – a memoir of a fabulous life (Hardcover)

Free Spirit: From barefoot in Brazil to the catwalks of New York – a memoir of a fabulous life By Tanya Sarne Cover Image

Free Spirit: From barefoot in Brazil to the catwalks of New York – a memoir of a fabulous life (Hardcover)


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An extraordinary life story of success, setbacks and survival set in London's Swinging Sixties, the crazy, drug-fueled Hollywood of the '70s and the New York/London fashion scene of the '80s and '90s by one of the real-life inspirations for Absolutely Fabulous.

"I read Free Spirit all in one go as I literally couldn't put it down. Tanya Sarne's courage and resilience are utterly awe-inspiring. You could read no better book than this on the zeitgeist of London and Hollywood in the Sixties and Seventies and the fashion world of the Eighties and Nineties." Joanna Lumley

"Wherever it was at, Tanya seemed to be.  This is an honest, amusing depiction of life as founder of Ghost, the British fashion brand much loved by woman of all shapes and ages. As well as navigating life through the Sixties and onwards, here is a story of a woman boss juggling  motherhood, marriage, romance and every other thread of life's rich tapestry." Alexandra Shulman

"'Inspiring, intelligent, brave, plain spoken and wild, Tanya Sarne's memoir tells the story of a woman who is tirelessly optimistic, brilliantly pragmatic and fiercely true to herself. At once a fighter and a dreamer, she has overcome the challenges her personal and professional life have thrown at her with extraordinary tenacity, humor and grace." Susannah Frankel

“She just makes clothes that people like to wear” - Grace Coddington

Reading like a real-life Daisy Jones and the Six, Tanya Sarne's story is so much more than simply an account of incredible international fashion success (and excess). The child of refugee parents, her life ranged from the London of the Swinging Sixties to the glamour and darkness of Hollywood, to virtual destitution and abandonment with two small children in a Brazilian fishing village before she even dreamt of starting her own business. Hers is a tale of extraordinary resilience, of second and third chances capped by global fashion success as the founder of Ghost.

From busking with Andrew Loog Oldham before he managed the Rolling Stones, to being invited to stay with Sharon Tate the night of the Manson murders, to being (with her daughter and Lynne Franks) the inspiration for Absolutely Fabulous, Tanya is one of those people who seems to have fitted more into one life than most of us would fit into nine.

Above all though she is that still all too rare thing, a female entrepreneur who achieved true global success solely as a result of her own hard work and talent and entirely on her own terms.

“If there's a woman out there who doesn't have an old Ghost dress hanging in her wardrobe can you please tell me exactly what you were wearing in the nineties?” - Alyson Walsh, @thatsnotmyage

“You just wanted to be part of Tanya's gang because she was quite magnetic...And she was really kind too. And really funny. She put a good crowd together. And she's honest.” - Sam McKnight

“Tanya had an amazing life in Hollywood. She was a real survivor. And then she sort of knew nothing about fashion and she found herself in the fashion business just to pay the rent and survive. And then from there, she built up her own business. It's an amazing, remarkable success story.” - Lynne Franks
Born in 1945 as an only child to refugee parents, Tanya Sarne spent the first two years of her life in a children's home while her parents searched for suitable accommodation. After leaving Sussex University in 1967 with a degree in History, early career choices included a stint as an actress, work as a fashion model and a script reader for Universal Films. In the mid-1970s, when her first marriage collapsed, she started selling alpaca jumpers from Peru to support her children. Thus began her involvement with fashion. She launched Ghost in 1984 and it became the 1990s' biggest independent fashion brand, famous for its outrageous parties and clothes that made women feel confident about themselves. The brand is now owned by Touker Suleyman.
Product Details ISBN: 9781784728465
ISBN-10: 1784728462
Publisher: Mitchell Beazley
Publication Date: September 19th, 2023
Pages: 352
Language: English