As an obvious fashion lover, this store was a dream come true. With its high ceiling, palatial setting and a goldmine of talent, Flying Solo store is as unique as the talent that it houses.
The store is entirely run by the designers themselves. They help with sales, curating the store and when their customers come in, at least a couple of the designers are there to give them the full history of the brands. It’s a showcase of incredible designer talent and even more than the previous store, serves as a beautiful gallery of fashion.
It’s a hub of artists, a creative and collaborative team effort and represents what fashion should be about, expressive, inclusive and gives a global point of view with designers from all over the world sharing their talent in store.
During this visit I interviewed over 16 designers, just days after they showcased their SS18 collection to huge success. Despite the amount of work the designers had to put into the impressive Flying Solo show which was held at the Flying Solo store, they were all spritely, passionate and excited to tell me the inspiration behind their collections. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to these burgeoning designers whose collections were as beautiful as any of the top designers I saw at this year’s NYFW.
Having created the collection out of Japanese fleece using a Japanese knitting machine from 1906, most of the collection is multi functional. With many of the pieces not being recognizable as a traditional garment. For instance a jacket that can be worn as a scarf as well as a top, the collection is unexpected and fresh. Included in the collection is fleece trousers, a dress where the arms go into a sleeve and come out again, creating a unique silhouette, trousers with extra long panels at the front, and cap sleeve tops, the collection is unlike anything you will have seen before.
Lai’s signature tank has remained in the collection as well as a drop crotch unisex pant. Reversibility also plays into the collection, experimenting with materials and the way in which garments feel against the body, Lai tells me she wanted people to feel both the inside and outside of the material at the same time. With a capsule collection of ten pieces, Lai wants each piece to be an essential in your wardrobe with no pieces wasted. Lai has once again created a stunningly innovative collection, with her reimagined structured garments and fresh take on material.
Anna Sokol, the designer behind WeAnnaBe moved to New York from Ukraine. She fell in love with the city so much so that it inspired her latest collection. Using vegan leather accents, the New York horizon is depicted on her striking suits and details on her knitwear. With modern classics, and using unique textures and fabrics, the brand specializes in high quality, smart-casual wear at a reasonable price point.
With a palette of light blue, pink, grey and sprinkles of yellow, the collection with its light and airy materials is romantic and functional wearable art. Rudenko tells me, “I feel that the art inside garments has become a little lost,” rectifying this, Rudenko has created the pieces as beautifully on the inside as they are on the outside. With a coat that can be shortened by detaching the bottom, a shirt that can be worn as either a loose fit, or buttoned tighter to create a more fitted silhouette with sleeves that can be worn long, or shortened to a three quarter sleeve. Each piece has been thought through to make it multi functional for her customer. Tops that can be made strapless, dresses than can be shortened, a silk dress with removable sleeves, a leaf shaped belt that can be worn over an array of garments, Rudenko’s collection is luxurious and versatile in its carefully thought-out detailing. A beautiful collection, by an inspired designer.
A former beauty pageant winner, Vuthaj has always loved bags. With the idea of beauty creates beauty, Vathaj set about creating a collection of stunning bags. Handmade in Italy, the collection is bright in color and uses materials such as python leather, pony hair and Italian leather. Creating a feel of uniqueness, with her hand painted clutches, the collection is stunningly chic.
Despite being a start up, Kim is passionate about helping people with cataracts in India and Africa. At just $50 USD an operation can be done to remove a persons cataracts and help them see again. For every sale, Kim is donating 1% of all profits to the cause and so far has already helped 12 people see again. Another reason to love Spinoza!
With her background in fitness, Louise knows what a woman requires from her workout wear and as a result has created a unique fitness line. Fashionable and transitional enough to dress up, and sexy enough to feel feminine whilst working out in, the line is designed for high impact and high fashion. From the street to the gym, this line is designed to fit into every aspect of your life.
THE MODERN TALES
Founded by Jennefer Keyserman, jewelry line Modern Tales was born out of former clothes designer, Keyserman’s love of jewelry. With an archive of jewelry that spans back from her grandmother’s collection as inspiration, Keyserman’s collection truly emulates the designers love of both jewelry and the memories of her grandmother. With a collection of show stopping pieces, including statement cuffs, rings, and ear cuffs, the collection makes a statement in the literal sense with words engraved on them such as ‘Activism’, ‘Inspiration’ as well as pieces that make a statement simply through design.
Keyserman latest collection, "Subconscious" was inspired by the idea of free speech, and the freedom to express what you feel. It's everything you could hope for from a collection, bold yet wearable for everyday, statement making but classic at the same time and reminding us of the importance of freedom of thought, and free speech.
Made using semi-precious metals and gemstones, designer Andrea’s latest collection, ‘Venus’ was inspired by the female anatomy, representing the strength and femininity of women.
With the Venus Collection the designer is hoping to ignite women to feel proud and a sense of empowerment. A portion of sales is going to Planned Parenthood.
With her Japanese heritage, the designer behind Enda is inspired by bold femininity. With the latest collection that uses Japanese brush strokes and the inclusion of pieces inspired by 60’s mod, the collection is the perfect blend of East meets West and classical elegance reinvented.
A stunning uncomplicated collection made up of silk and cashmere, designer Andrea Halstenbach has created a brand that encompasses luxury and classic forever pieces that surpass trends and make for staples in your closet.
Using the highest quality of materials and produced in selected knitting mills in Italy, the capsule collection can be worn from day to night, and worn by women of all ages.
Talented jewelry designer and founder of Flying Solo, Elizabeth Solomeina draws inspiration for her jewelry line from the materials that she uses. With instantly recognizable designs that play with height, the designer used diamonds in her most recent collection. With harder and darker materials this collection has a heavier feel than the previous one, however juxtaposed with stones including pearls, gives the collection a perfectly balanced strong feminine feel. The Solemeina collection is striking and instantly recognizable.
IZA BY SILVIA D'AVILA
If you are looking for one of a kind, standout jewelry, look no further than Iza. The designer hand makes every single piece making them impossible to duplicate. The designer has created pieces that go beyond simple jewelry, with incredible works of art including a forearm cuff, the designer is as unique as she is talented.
Using cutting edge technology and hand finished, each piece aims to celebrate the uniqueness of women. Designed with 3D designs and 3D printed in limited edition the collection is made with top manufacturers locally in New York.
The designer’s collection draws inspiration from personal stories that she portrays through colour, structure, fabric and form, resulting in pieces that are strong in their aesthetic yet romantic at the same time. Chong has created a perfectly elegant collection to portray the multifaceted layers of a woman, showing both her strength and softness at the same time.
Talented designer, Minan Wong’s SS18 collection is inspired by nature and botanicals with all products made locally in New York. Speaking of the importance of locally made and sustainable, Wong says, “I want to be known for sustainable American high fashion. It’s also really important to me to support local companies.”
As with her FW16 collection, Wong’s latest collection was also inspired by botanicals, but this seasons collection also includes some younger fresher pieces. Gorgeous denim dresses, with cap sleeves and fresh blouses, the collection is beautifully feminine with a fresh modern take on her classic pieces.
Made in Budapest Hungary, Sugarbird is innovative and daring in design. Having collaborated with companies such as Disney and FOX Studios, Sugarbird’s latest collection is inspired by the celebration of self-confidence, with a collection called ‘Me’ the pieces are a fun way to celebrate yourself, with words emblazoned on jackets and dresses such as, ‘Queen and ‘Sexy Back’. The collection is eclectic, ranging from sexy and show-stopping dresses, to edgy athelsurewear inspired pieces, and Disney collaboration dresses. The collection has something for everyone as long as you aren’t afraid to make an entrance when you walk in the room!
The designers created a finale dress especially for the show (pictured above). Speaking of the stunning dress the designers tell me, “ The first time we saw it walk down the runway, it was so airy and light, seeing it float down, it was magic.”
With a collection made up of strikingly dynamic and modern structural pieces and timeless in style, Diseta might be a new brand, but they are here to stay.
With bold statement pieces, the designer tells a story through her clothes. Futuristic but wearable and not trend driven, Hathairat relies on her own intuition when it comes to designing for her woman. With bold and striking pieces, her collection is synonymous with a fit and flare, color blocking, and with her use of luxurious fabrics, signature prints, ruffled details and multi layered, Hathairat's clothes are voluminous in both look and feel.
Hathairat cleverly manages to create both dream like, almost fantastical style pieces, yet makes them wearable, creating an uplifting elevated style. With pieces that take you from day to night, for the woman who wants to live out her fantasy.
Chantal Assad, The Swedish-Lebanese designer behind Chantal Designs has created a collection of unique, modern stand out pieces.
Assad launched the ready to wear collection in 2010 and used her experience of both cultures from East and West to create the silhouette that can be taken from day to night.
Assad's latest collection is inspired by sportswear, included in the collection is a front cropped shirt with long flowing back, that can be paired with classic black trousers or jeans for a more casual feel. Also in the collection is an oversized jersey dress that can be worn everyday and easily dressed up or down with the addition of a few accessories. Chantel Designs is a go to brand for everyday dresses that are as beautiful as they are comfortable.
Originally from China but a graduate from Parsons, the designers behind Iridescence, Yiming Lin and Angie Ray are influenced by both the East and West. Using high quality fabrics, the designs are striking and standout. The latest collection, a collaboration with fellow Flying Solo designer, Daniel Silverstain, the latest Iridescence bags measure 7 by 7 inches and are triangular in shape. With a modern and urban feel, the bags are beautifully standout.
The sisters behind Schedraui, Stephanie and Grace were born in El Salvador and have a shared view of positivity that has inspired the DNA of their brand. “Our concept is gratitude. Every bag has a message inside, things such as, ‘Choose to Shine’, or 'Begin and End Your Day with Gratitude', says Stephanie Schedraui. The quotes are embossed inside the bags in gold. This season’s collection includes some stunning rucksacks that are both practical and fashion forward, with one of the most stunning in rose gold. All the bags are made with Italian leather and only the highest quality of materials.