This year I wanted LadyDrinks members to participate in this year's New York Fashion Week. Tuesday, September 12th, we are hosting a conversation with Polish-born fashion designer Karolina Zmarlak at a really special space in Soho. (Read about her in Vogue here)
Flying Solo is a fashion incubator founded by jewelry designerElizabeth Solomeina. Thisfashion collective is made up of 45 independent & local designerswho havejoined forces to afford a 2,000-square-foot space on Mulberry Street.
Flying Solo stemmed from Solomeina's own struggles as a designer, from finding retailers that would take a chance on a new brand to production & inventory costs. After testing the concept with a series of pop-ups throughout the Upper West Side & Soho & finding an investor, she found a long-term space to house 33 up-and-coming designers.
'We didn't have money for construction, so we had to do it ourselves. I had tears in my eyes when we opened. It was amazing to see what we could achieve as a group because we really wanted it to happen.' (Fashionista.com)
Since then, the collective is nearing 50 designers offering womenswear, accessories & jewelry.
Together, the designers behind Flying Solo help pay for rent & additional expenses, such as electricity. They are also required to work for the shop one full day per week, with up to four designers on the floor each day.
Solomeina's goal is to educate designers outside of the collective. 'I see all of the mistakes that independent designers make when they start their brands, & I want to stop them from making [them],' she says.