Flying solo is a retail space located at 434 West Broadway in SoHo with a collaborative approach. We spoke with Co-founder Elizabeth Solomeina about the space and how the concept store came about. Solomeina shared her story as a designer trying to find stockists for her jewelry brand and realized the void in the market for young designers to gain platforms and the story of Flying Solo begun.
Over the years the Flying Solo design community has gained recognition amongst the industry through designers being featured in magazines such as a Vogue and Harpers Bazaar while also showing at New York and Paris fashion weeks. Flying solo also collaborates with Parsons to showcase young graduates while promoting aspiring designers with passion and creativity to sell direct to consumer and develop a foundational network.
The Knockturnal: Back to the origins, what ignited the spark to create Flying solo?
Elizabeth Solomeina: I am a jewelry designer and this is something I truly needed. It was a feeling amongst my designer friends as well – we needed a space like this, no one was doing anything like this at the time so I thought if we had a collaborative space we could sell directly to the consumer. The space could also be used for stylist pulls, press appointments and showcases.
The Knockturnal: What is the selection process like for designers that you carry at Flying Solo?
Elizabeth Solomeina: Designs have to be original that is first and foremost, they also have to stand out as we like to surprise our customer. We like to have items that you can’t get anywhere else as stylists love those pieces for their shoots. We also look for something that is not mass manufactured.We also have multiple designers who meet in the space and collaborate on mini collections.
The Knockturnal: How does the space help designers be noticed by industry peers?
Elizabeth Solomeina: We have been showing during NYFW at pier 59 and this year we will also show during Paris fashion week. The space can also be used by our designers to showcase their collections and have launch events, sample sales, capsule collections whenever they want. This is in a way our home we can use it to our advantage – all of us.
The Knockturnal: You just opened a new space called the Copper Room, how is this different to your other retail space?
Elizabeth Solomeina: Yes, this is our second location so it is mainly for press pulls, celebrity clients and private appointments as it’s away from the public eye. Downstairs we have an office space where designers can work, collaborate and have meetings with clients.
The Knockturnal: Who are some of your celebrity clients?
Elizabeth Solomeina: Our designers have dressed Gigi and Bella Hadid, Alicia Keyes, Cardi B and many Victoria secret models just to name a few.
The Knockturnal: What upcoming collaborations and events can we look forward to?
Elizabeth Solomeina: Some of our designers are collaborating with each other for fashion week, which will be announced soon. This is also our third season collaborating with Parsons; we select the top graduate student to showcase with Flying Solo.
The Knockturnal: How did the collaboration with Parsons come about?
Elizabeth Solomeina: Many of our designers studied there and said it would have been great if there was a space like this when we were in school. We got in touch with them and they were very supportive and interested in working with us. It is a great opportunity for students to be featured right after graduating. Our designers are very willing to help each other out so everyone gets a lot of advice about the industry.
The Knockturnal: What advice do you have for young brands?
Elizabeth Solomeina: You have to be passionate; you have to be willing to grind it out to be noticed and work hard.