Geraldine “Gigi” Freyeisen: Finding fashion on Skid Row

Full Frame

Geraldine "Gigi" Freyeisen Photographer Geraldine “Gigi” Freyeisen uses photography to capture the fashion side of people living on L.A.’s Skid Row.

Photographer Geraldine Freyeisen, also known as “Gigi”, is trying to capture the chic side of Skid Row. The Los Angeles neighborhood has one of the highest concentrations of homeless people living in the United States. In pop culture and on the evening news, it’s known as a hotbed for drug addiction, crime and prostitution.

“I fell in love with the neighborhood and I started shooting in the neighborhood,” says Gigi. “I wanted to first get to know the people and be part of the community and gain their trust.”

Geraldine “Gigi” Freyeisen: Finding fashion on Skid Row

Geraldine “Gigi” Freyeisen: Finding fashion on Skid Row

Photographer Geraldine Freyeisen, also known as “Gigi”, is trying to capture the chic side of Skid Row. The Los Angeles neighborhood has one of the highest concentrations of homeless people living in the United States. In pop culture and on the evening news, it’s known as a hotbed for drug addiction, crime and prostitution.


Gigi is trying to change the narrative about the people who live here. Her photography blog, called Swagabonds, shows another side of Skid Row. It documents the street fashion of the people of living here and she is now working on a fashion line with the same name.

“I did the photo project, but I wanted to do more, cause I felt like I was just taking, sort of like a vampire by just taking photos,” explains Gigi. “So, I wanted to be proactive in the community.”

“People here are so creative, fashion wise, and not only fashion wise, there are a lot of artists here, that’s why I did this photo project,” Gigi recalls. “I like to showcase people’s styles and also personalities. I wanted to show a different image of skid row.”

On this week’s Close Up, Full Frame visits Skid Row to see how a unique sense of style and some creative inspiration are changing the way people view this homeless community.

Follow Geraldine on Instagram