Nothing gives me more joy than to bring you yet another success story from Flying Solo. I first featured them almost two years ago at their original store location in Mulberry Street. They had about 20 designers and it was all hands on deck as they came together to make one of the founders, Elizabeth Solomeina’s vision come to life. To create a hub for new designers to showcase their collections under one roof; A community to help support one another and allow them to have a storefront for their designers. Not an easy task, especially for new designers in the heart of NYC.
Almost two years on, they’ve accomplished that vision and beyond. They moved to a much larger location on W Broadway Street, have expanded the amount of designers to over 70, have had two successful NYFW shows and will be having their third in September at Pier 59, before heading to Paris for PFW which will showcase over 30 of their designers.
If that all wasn’t impressive enough they have now opened another location a few minutes away from their W Broadway street location. The location, The Copper room, at 76 Wooster in New York is another inspired idea by Solomenia and co-founder, Daniel Silverstain. As you step in to the studio space, you feel like you’re walking into an art gallery. Bright and vibrant, reflecting the style now synonymous with Flying Solo, works of (clothing) art hang on the wall. The entire location serves as a place for VIP clients to shop and a place for stylist to go and pull clothes for shoots. A bar on the left, an area for the Flying Solo team as well as a place to serve drinks to their clients.
As we walk downstairs pictures of the Flying Solo team hang on the wall. A photo, it turns out was taken moments before Solomenia gathered the designers together to take before revealing to them exactly what her and Silverstain had been planning the past few months. The expansion of Flying Solo will only help the designers in their quest to establish themselves in New York.
Around the corner is a meeting area in the round that will allow the designers to convene and chat about their upcoming business. Further down the hall, fish and a water display decorate the space. Beautifully laid out rails will hold designers latest collections and pulls for clients and stylists. Whilst a private changing room area will serve as a space for VIP’s to try on clothes specially pulled for them in privacy. The area is decorated with a whole wall of just a small amount of editorials Flying Solo and their designers have been featured in.
Whilst Solomenia shows me around the location explaining their plans for the space, a cameraman follows us as Solomenia is filming a documentary on her and Flying Solo. Just another testament to how successful and interested people are by their story and their continued expansion and accomplishments. Before even making a formal announcement about The Copper Room, Stylist were already a buzz about the upcoming opportunities they’d have to utilize it and the designers for their upcoming projects.
This is all before we’ve even stepped in to the Flying Solo store to meet the latest offerings from their designers that I’m about to interview. As always, Flying Solo manages to get the cream of the crop of designers, with many vying for a spot in the now infamous store. From apparel, jewelry, swimwear right through to hats, here are some of the latest collections from the exciting designers I met whilst there.
This seasons Solomenia is concentrating on standout statement jewelry that can be seen clearly from the runway. Some aren’t even designed to be worn in real life but rather show the bold designs in a collection of bright colors that are extremely editorial. Next to them, Solomenia has created a wearable version. Solemnia tells me she wasn’t even sure people would really love the bright colors and the bold statements, but she tells me, “What’s the worst that can happen?”
It is a departure from Solomenia’s usual style in size and use of color but are the perfect accompaniment to the other edgier designers collections that Flying Solo houses. Some of the hero pieces of the collection include a gold lips bracelet, bold green statement bracelet and gold long hanging statement earrings. Smaller versions of the pieces are available for easier day to day wear. Bright and bold, the collection might be a change from Solomenia’s usual style, but it remains statement making and as always, a talking point whenever you wear one of her pieces.
THE MODERN TALES
Founded by Jennefer Keyserman, jewelry line Modern Tales new collection, which she showcased at Flying Solo’s Pier 59 show in February, focuses on the idea of gender fluid pieces. After also presenting her collection at Flying Solo’s pop up store in Hong Kong, men were asking if she had menswear available, and due to the demand, the collection was born. Black rhodium pieces for men, with the same design in a thinner version for women.
As with her previous collection, the pieces are designed with wearability as a key focus. Reflected in Modern Tales latest lookbook, using real people, shot in their natural environment. Everywhere from an art gallery to a boxing ring, practicality and comfort were needed.
The classic collection still remains, one of the standout pieces includes a gorgeous statement Avenue Four Cubes Ring paired with the classic stacked three Village Rings (seen below)
Ashley Carson learned to make jewelry in a small store in Florida, little did she know then that it would change her life and would see her move from Florida to NY and launch her own jewelry line.
After taking the jewelry class in Florida, Carson began designing pieces for herself and was amazed by the amount of women who loved her pieces so much that they literally bought them straight off of her body! In 2014, Carson moved from Florida to New York and just two years ago created her namesake brand, Ashley Carson and joined Flying Solo a few months ago.
Carson's line of beautifully delicate 14kt necklaces designed to be layered with 3-5 pieces, as well as bracelets and chain rings are both completely on trend whilst still being timeless enough to be worn years from now. With the necklaces being appropriate to dress up a classic black dress, but would also look fabulous layered on a boho chic outfit on any of the IT girls at Coachella. Even Haley Baldwin is a fan, having worn a stunning body chain that she paired with a denim jumpsuit.
Carson’s collection is inspired by nature, and interweaves this inspiration in to every piece of the collection.
Yun Boutique is a collection inspired by divine Chinese culture, exploring the connection between the human and the divine and harmony and nature. Included in the collection is the auspicious cloud motif as well as a miniature of the Buddhist concept of the Ten Directional World.
Acid NYC Clothing is a men and womenswear brand based in New York. Acid brand have created a collection heavy on vibrant prints. Inspired by their surroundings with everything from the beauty of nature, to technology, think computer circuit boards and colored wires, spoke to them to create the collection of manipulated graphics. Focused on pieces that will take you from day to night. All pieces are made in New York City's garment district.
Stacy Fan at the Flying Solo store
Two sisters behind Posh Me’Ke have created a line of edgy meets conservative to represent both of the sisters styles. The line is incredibly unique, with a blend of wearable high fashion that always incorporates an unexpected twist and can be worn in a multitude of ways.
The edgier of the sisters, Morgan tells me one of their statement skirts came about when she was playing around with the design and created something that she tells me, “Looked like an apron” She laughs. I asked her how she came up with the idea to create such unusual designs, and she replies, “I’m extra” and laughs her infectious laugh, “With the skirt, I had a piece with so many zippers and buttons, I took it to production and they said it would be so hard to make, so I re-did it. But I made it so that the foundation was multi-wear instead of just one piece.”
The backless skirt that can be worn over a pair of leggings or trousers, at the front looks like a skirt with two high slits, but turn around it creates that unexpected surprise that is synonymous with Posh Me’Ke’s knockout collection. Also in their collection is a top that can be worn frontwards or backwards. A combination of strong femininity, solid in color, confident in style and exudes a feeling of strength that also allows a show of self expression depending on how the Posh Me’Ke woman chooses to wear it. Edgy, powerful, and as Morgan says for, “The women that dares to be different.”
Before I even stepped over to speak to Hayes, her collection was calling me over. A palate inspired by the Beverly Hills Hotel of lavender, hot pinks, mint green, stripes and custom made prints. Produced in New York, the collection is made of luxe fabrics, and silhouettes that accentuate subversive femininity.
The collection can be worn as either head to toe looks or mixed and matched with pieces in your own wardrobe. A hot pink blazer that would look stunning with a pair of black trousers, a mint green trench that works with anything from a pair of jeans to a classic dress.
Hayes has created pieces that are stand out and statement making and due to their versatility will look amazing in your wardrobe years from now. Looking for an evening dress, you will fall in love with the black long gown with iridescent sequins, looking for a classic but standout suit, you’ll adore their lilac suit. It’s old Hollywood glamour, with a crisp tailored edge that will have you lusting after every single piece.
Aida Kaas has just created her first capsule collection. Self taught, Kaas’s collection is classic elevated basics with a modern touch. Hero pieces include a patent leather statement trench, a red silk slip dress and a leather skirt. Using fabrics that are designed to make you feel glamorous from the inside out.
Sexy yet sustainable is the best way to describe Jessica Wood’s collection. Founded in 2017, Wood has designed a core 8 piece collection that have created the foundation of their line with pieces that you will always want in your closet. Filling a void in the market of sustainable clothes that are ethical but still fun, sexy and expressive pieces makes Discourse a departure from the traditional sustainable collections. Designed and manufactured In New York, Discourse is inspired by people, places and always made in sweatshop free factories that ensure a fair wage.
The stunning Alyssa dress will see you through everything from a luncheon to a wedding, whilst the Audrey dress is the perfect summer dress that will work from day to night, just add some jewelry and heels, and it will work for a multitude of occasions. It can even be transitioned into fall paired with a pair of boots and a pea coat.
Volta means return, with the meaning give back to earth. Volta Atelier is exactly that, a company that represents the beauty of handmade pieces and the power of upcycling.
With over twenty years of experience, Founder Fernandez of Volta Atelier was a consultant in leather and trend forecasting, who decided to set up Volta Atelier and utilize her expertise. Using scrap leather to create a stunning line of unique one of a kind accessories that are lightweight, timeless and classic. Brazillian artisans hand-stitch the bags to create these one-of-a kind pieces, with each artisan personally signing their name on each bag.
Galpon.co’s is a collection of modern unisex hats (traditionally the trim on the hat for men is placed on the left, women’s on the right, Galpon has a trip on both sides) that are hand crafted by Gustabo Lerner in Ecuador. Included in the collection are both Panama hats to keep you cool in the summer, with their Getaway and Aires collection as well as hats to keep you warm during the colder months with the Invierno collection.
Galpon certainly knows his hats, sizing my head up as soon as we meet and telling me exactly what color of hat goes with what skin tone; A lighter hat for darker skin tone and vice versa as your hat, Galpon says, should “Spice you up”. Spice you up they will. After trying on one of his hats, it complimented my face and was indeed exactly the right size!
Every now and then you come across a brand that really challenges your idea of the definition of what a luxury fashion brand really means. Aranyani is one of those brands, with a collection of incredible bags that are truly pieces of art.
Aranyani, uses Italian craftsmanship, and local Indian artists to paint the bags, with no more than two being produced at any point for each city. Inspired by nature and made of the highest quality and sustainable products, binding the connection of man to nature through both story and design.
Creating a collection of one piece suits, Monosuit are challenging their customer to re-think the idea of easy to wear pieces. Monosuit, meaning one piece suit, can be worn in a multitude of ways. The zipper can be worn either up front or behind, backwards or even if you choose, upside down!
They're even making travel more fun and easier as you can re-wear you Monosuit for a different look each time. Buy less, use more is the name of the game with these stunning and unusual suits that will have you making a grand entrance but allowing you to be comfortable at the same time. What’s better than that?!
Carmen Sol Espejo and Sebastiano Di Bari have founded eco-conscious and affordable brand, Carmen Sol that are reinventing the Jelly as a lifestyle brand.
Made in Italy and designed in New York, all the accessories are made out of
luxe Jelly material. The Spring 2018 collection marks the official launch of the brand worldwide, which includes shoes, handbags and accessories in 14 vivid colors with eco-friendly packaging.
Carmen Sol tells the story of retailer turned fashion brand. Having started up a small store in Punta Cana on the white sandy beaches in Dominican Republic in 2006.
June 2018 saw the launch of the brands fully 3D virtual store, which was integrated in their website allowing their customers a new experience when shopping online. The brand represents love, happiness and giving with both eco-friendly consciousness as they create the best of quality products for their customers at an affordable price point and always prop65 compliant.
Designer Sienna Li created her namesake brand that combines classic romance into modern sensibility, with a collection of upscale, custom made couture and ready-to-wear pieces.
Li invites women to join graceful adventures in the designer’s fashion aesthetic world. Drawing on her background in Chinese literature, Li has created imaginative designs accompanied by original creations in construction, silhouette and finishing. Celebrating unexpected beauty and tasteful stylishness with a light sense of mystery using her multicultural background as a source of inspiration.
Mona Swimwear is a stunning European brand that blends intricate print-work with incredible craftsmanship with a dark and surreal aesthetic. Mona Swimwear's Irish designer, Calra Johnson created the line inspired by her deep fascination with water and love of travel. Introducing the Exousia, that integrates her sense of style and a touch of drama to create a collection that represents her enigmatic alter ego, Mona, a "Dark siren, borne out of Irish Folklore."
Mai Manniche is delighted to be one of the newest additions to Flying Solo with her jewelry line, Jewlscph. Founded 13 years ago in Denmark, all Jewlscph's pieces are handmade using the highest quality precious stones and metals. The crown princess Mary of Denmark, who's regularly tipped as the best dressed, is often seen wearing Jewlscph jewelry. Now Jewlscph is available in Flying Solo, I've no doubt they'll have the same success Stateside!
With thanks to Flying Solo and all the designers for sharing their stories and collections.
For more information on the above designers and many more visit:
434 W Broadway, New York, NY 10012
(+1) (646) 453-6710
Source: Eurasian Vogue: