Designer Spotlight: Flying Solo Designers Haute Couture NYFW Fall 2021
This season’s Flying Solo unforgettable haute couture collections were showcased by an international group of 20 designers. Stunning luxury and sophisticated looks were dreamy and bold. The powerful lineup presented all kinds of silhouettes – long and layered, short and sculptural.
Danielle Moinet @daniellemoinet (1.7M) walked in the show along with other influencers Cory Wade @corywadeofficial (204K), Beth Walkemeyer @bethwalkemeyer (93K), and Anastasia Bogushevskaya @nastya_bog_official (29.7K)
Flying Solo Designers Haute Couture
Photos: Getty Images, Ilya S. Savenok
Flying Solo designers have shared the stories behind their brands:
Ora Yancy, the designer, was born to working class parents from West Africa; Liberia. Due to the civil war in Liberia, the family migrated to Ghana in exile for ten years and later moved to America in 1998. Ora is a mother of three wonderful children. Professionally, she currently works as a Registered Nurse in nursing management. She has been a nurse for 19 years: MBA, MSN, BS in nursing. As a child, she was always interested in fashion. Growing up, the parents wanted her to become a prominent doctor, lawyer or nurse, and she never followed my true passion, however she always portrayed her flair for fashion through her style with muse and inspiration like Valentino and Alexandra McQueen (RIP).
With the challenges and trials of life, the state of the world during this pandemic, intrigued Ora to do something and embrace the “movement of change” in the world. With the inspiration of being confident, and bold, zipporaa women’s ready-to-wear was established in December, 2020. Zipporaa was established on the postulate that impossibilities are possible and Ora chooses to be open to impossibilities. The vision behind zipporaa is open minded, landscape and architecture inspired designs. The concept is bold, elegant and highly versatile featuring exaggerated volumes, handcrafted detail.
The brand will represent a cultivated class of women around the globe that have the ability to live elegantly and luxuriously in a fashionable society. As women embrace their confidence, boldness, elegance, and inspiration, zipporaa will continue to create lux women’s ready-to-wear clothing.
ELMADAWY NEW YORK @elmadawynewyork
The atelier of ELMADAWY New York creates alluring, transformative Haute Couture for the empowered woman. Led by Egyptian designer Mohamed ElMadawy, the house is innovative and daring; his collection is feminine and fierce with a subversive style that manifests a sophisticated silhouette.
Originally specializing in accessory design, Mohamed achieved exposure on the international circuit with Cairo’s Soucha Fashion House. His creative edge was the mainstay in the Soucha collections for almost a decade. It is evident that his powerful and sensual creations will be an influence on the world of couture.
On an inspired, evolved and reimagined platform Mohamed launches ELMADAWY — “a highly wearable and feminine collection for the globally chic” as featured in venerable, global publications including L’Officiel,Vogue Italy, Cosmopolitan and Ellements Magazine.
VENTURINI COUTURE @venturini_couture
Maria Venturini is a Latin American Designer based in Walla Walla, Washington, USA. Venturini embarked on a fashion career and developed a brand called VENTURINI COUTURE showing her latest collection during fashion weeks around the world. The romantic style of her designer has become a signature inspired by high-end ateliers in Paris and Milan. Her soft sensual style, fascinating details and exceptional tailoring is what makes Venturini Couture the go-to destination for high-end gowns and evening wear.
DINA MELWANI COUTURE @dinamelwanicouture
Established in Dubai in 2015, by creative director Dina Melwani, Dina Melwani Couture is an international Couture Brand, valued for producing timeless and classic designs, sought after for their uniqueness, flawless cut and fine materials Over the years, the brand continually pursued excellence in the execution of its garments, by employing experienced couturiers from Europe and skilled craftsmen and Hand Embroiderers from India.
Dina Melwani Couture strives to create designs that are always true to the values of the brand, by ensuring the highest levels of quality and flawless finishings. The atelier celebrates individuality, focusing on elevated elegance, feminine forms, and timeless glamour. Through its state-of-art gowns, aspires to embrace uniqueness and magnify the beauty of today’s intelligent, independent and strong women.
PARA RUK ISRAEL @para_ruk_israel
Para Ruk ISRAEL is the brand created by Anna Madfis (Shenderova), a jewelry and scarf designer who immigrated from Russia and made Aliyah to Israel. Brand was launched in 2017 as she moved from being a marketer to a designer.
Project started with scarves that were hand colored using the Shibori technique which is a Japanese style to dying scarves that produces ambivalent patterns. Anna believed that she could create something truly unique by expanding the scarf designs with watercolor techniques, and adding gems. Her materials provide the luxury essence to her brand. Her product lines include beaded brooches and brooches made out of organic glass, silk-twill scarves, silk-twill square scarves, earrings and necklaces.
She has been selling her collection out of Israel and exporting to various countries such as Russia, U.S, Canada, European countries. In 2019 Para Ruk Israel took part in Tel-Aviv Fashion Week in the designers show-room, where the brand’s accessories were presented.
KOSMOS COUTURE @kosmos_couture
Aspiring to become a fashion designer in any capacity does not come in one night. It is an inbuilt passion that boldly forges the career paths for inspiration. The commitment towards creative skills, in wagering passions for fashion and design, and persistence in the face of every rejection allows these fashion designers to break out and come on the track to success! One such fashion industry heavyweight success story is of Olga Kosumoff and her company Kosmos Couture.
Initially while in the USA, she pursued a different career; however, her interest and passion would always veer her in alternate directions – fashion and design! She took her dreams and passion to Canada with her, where she graduated with honors from George Brown College after which she started her own company with the name Kosmos Couture and she created her first red carpet collection “Celestial”.
With the starry sky being her inspiration, she started her line of clothing for womenswear, including bold, extravagant, and bright evening wear collection. Fascinated by the concept of the universe being boundless with magnificent colors and beauty, she takes her vehement to the same level; and designs dresses with timeless style, beauty, elegance, glamour that is perfect for a very special occasion. The alluring, elegant and feminine designs caught the eyes of the audience when Mrs. Kosumoff exhibited her Celestial Collection for the first time in Canada at Fashion Art Toronto 2020.
Olga Kosumoff was always inclined towards fashion designing! Even when she was a little blooming girl she would want to design dresses that were unique and magical. She also won the best garment award at the Little Black Dress competition for an intriguing design and impeccable garment quality. Little did she know that her childhood passion would steer her successfully into the world of fashion. The ardent designer keeps on coming up with zealous designs that are remarkable and nonpareil, just like her inspiration is!
V’CHE LABEL @vchelabel
Toni Grant is the fashion designer and the founder of V’Che, launched in August 2019 based out of Dallas, Texas. She is inspired to create trendy, chic sexy and sophisticated women clothing with everyone in mind. Empowering women with style, look, and confidence is her mantra. V’Che is created as all women deserve to feel great in their clothes. She strives to create an uplifting and positive experience as fashion should always be fun! Her passion for fashion, design, and style started early in life, beginning in childhood when she demonstrated her creativity through drawings and illustrations to visualize clothes for her dolls which were mostly inspired by glamorous & classy couture. Never wanting to conform or fit into one box, when the time came to decide what to do in life, she culminated her talent and inspiration into her brand, V’Che.
Toni Grant continues to inject her personality and passion into an evolving portfolio of much beautiful design collection, styling photoshoots, and unique artwork, proving herself an excellent representative for the millennial generation in the Fashion Industry. To her, fashion is her language and it speaks for itself. Think about how powerful using that theory is, enabling her to speak to everyone through her clothing without uttering a single word. She has had a strong sense of fashion as a young girl that people always associate her with style. Being a vibrant and glamorous fashion designer, she inspires women to feel confident, to achieve more, to be fearless, and to adopt: “We are the best!” mindset.
LSURE COLLECTION @lsure.collection
LSURE was established in 2016. LSURE was inspired by a unique traditional fabric making technique called BATIK that comes from SouthEast Asia. One unique aspect of LSURE collections is that they use Indonesian Batik and Modern Fabric in combination and put both fabrics together to create one piece of modern fashion outfit/dress.
The theme for the 2021 collection is Simplegant (Simple-Elegant) and most of its pieces are always within the MESS design static (Minimalist, Elegant, Simple and Shine). The shiny part comes from the variety of Batik designs. Most collections are for women at the moment but will expand to men’s and kids collections, shoes and more in the future.
LSURE Fall Collection. The theme for these 8 pieces is “ROYAL SPICE”. This is inspired by Indonesian inheritance thousands of years ago by mostly female citizens who came from royal backgrounds. The women were elegant, sophisticated, and chic at the same time. The spice represents colorful Batik Designs. 3 Indonesian Batik designs are chosen because each design has a great ethnic royal story behind it.
RED BY REBECCA BOLLAND @redxrb
RED by Rebecca Bolland is a United States-based line of clothing that has been inspired by a life of dedication, love, and heritage that aims to reflect a spirit of empowerment and freedom of expression that is shared among all of us in our very nature. REDxRB has found beauty in classic and timeless pieces of history that reflect traits of personal quality, attention to craftsmanship, and personal fit. With these traits, Rebecca has crafted a beautiful and unapologetically feminine line of colorful and unique clothing.
Through dedication to the art of fashion, she has created pieces that will stay beautiful through the years. Around each corner, opportunity and change go hand in hand; intertwined with her mission to develop a more sustainable brand, her experience and inspiration has always been oriented to spread love, empowerment, and encouragement to others.
FITE FASHION @fite_fashion
Michelle Fite is an accomplished designer, seamstress, pattern-maker and business owner. For over a decade she has been honing her dressmaking skills to launch an eco luxury brand that does not compromise sustainable practices for head-turning design. FITE FASHION launched in 2018 and has been seen in British Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Grazia.
Combining couture techniques with the most sustainable fabrics available, FITE FASHION’s looks are made to order and produced locally in Philadelphia. FITE FASHION is committed to profit sharing and paying employees a living wage. To minimize waste and keep fabric out of the landfill, FITE FASHION creates one-of-a-kind looks using fabric scraps and recycles the remaining material to FABSCRAP.
QUEEN EMBODIMENT @queenembodiment
Clothing for the Fun, Sexy, Confident, Bold Queen that lives within you! Queen Embodiment is located in Gary, Indiana (United States). The brand was founded two years ago.
Queen Embodiment is for the woman who’s bold and confident and likes to feel sexy. For Every Queen standing in her glory and feeling like a boss.
KYLE DENMAN @thekyledenman
Kyle Denman is a designer whose mission is to use his own platform and privilege to create social change, share cultural narratives, and humanize the experiences of underserved communities. Currently, Denman teaches fashion design and art to at-promise youth in Los Angeles, California. Many of his students have experienced trauma, such as trafficking, homelessness, gang violence, incarceration, domestic violence, and substance abuse. Through the lenses of fashion, art, and design, Denman teaches these youth much more—a former student explained that his programming saved her life and another explained that it taught her how to love herself.
Denman is known for his avant-garde creations, challenging the systems of fashion, and for his intricate storytelling through his work. His previous collection, “Broken Angel Fallen From Grace,” which premiered in Los Angeles and El Paseo Fashion Week, told the story of an “angel who lost her wings” and the real-life comparison between Denman and Cristobal Balenciaga, both of whom struggled in their relationships with the Catholic Church as gay men. Denman was the Grand Prize Winner of the Project Runway Remake It Work Contest in 2016, was a member of the wardrobe team for Beyoncé during the 2018 Coachella Music Festival, received the 18 of the Last 9 Award, and was named the Young Fashion Designer of the Year in 2018. In 2019, he received an International Design Award and was also named a 30 Under 30 Changemaker in Education in 2021.
Denman’s New York Fashion Week collection, “mul·ti·po·lar—ex·ist·ence,” is inspired by the interconnectivity and the multidimensionality of the human experience. It demonstrates the capacity of the human condition and how we as people are interdependent elements whose souls become intertwined through chance and circumstance. It is a conceptual, personal, and poetic vision of what humanity was, is, and will be; it is both an homage and a criticism of the dissociation and derealization of relationships in our own lives. “mul·ti·po·lar—ex·ist·ence” can best be summarized in just six words: soulmates will always find a way.
LINKS BY GWEN @linksbygwen
LINKS BY GWEN was founded in 2014 with chains and jump rings. Each garment is made of only chain and jump rings. This amazing gift started with the first show @ Indianapolis, Indiana library called Meet the Artist. Next competition in Ohio, LINKS BY GWEN won 1st place. It’s been non-stop: 2015 ATL, 2016 LONDON HOUSE OF IKON, 2017 STYLE FW, 2019 FEBRUARY HARLEM FW. Each garment is one of a kind design.
Gwendolyn F. Clanton was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. Raised in a single-parent home. She was always creative. Mom taught her knitting, needlepoint, sewing by hand and the list goes on. With her highest education a little college and cosmetology license. She worked, married, and divorced. With life tragedy’s a change started in 2014, LINKS BY GWEN was founded.
PEDRO JUAN @PedroJuanNYC
Pedro Juan is a new vision of versatile luxury clothing that brings you back to a world of fantasy and mystery. This collection of glamorous must have items are made with rich materials and unique finishes from the luxury market to evoke the legendary spirit and extravagance of Studio 54 intertwined with inspirations by dark gothic fairy tales. From the Grimm Brothers to Hans Christian Andersen. In essence this collection called “Opium Garden” brings you back to a world of fantasy with whimsical retro touches that look sophisticated for a daring, fearless woman. These clothes are intended to make you feel like you live in an ethereal fairy tale.
The brand is a clothing line that works the highest quality, with local suppliers, and made by New York manufacturers affected by the economic impact of Covid-19. The brand is proud to be a minority owned business supporting other businesses in the local community, such as Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQi+ community
Pedro Juan, is a fashion designer based in New York City. His passion for design started as a young child growing up in Colombia. He remembered there were so many beautiful colors and textures that fascinated him. The vastness of vivid visuals inspired him to start drawing, which ignited his love affair with fashion, sketching what he saw every day. This deep-rooted passion later earned him a place representing Colombia in the Design French Biennial of Saint Ettienne, later leading me to the Fashion Institute of Technology. Over the years, his designs have been carried in boutiques from New York to Spain, working for brands like Ralph Lauren and Jill Stuart.
KATHY C VANG @kathycvang
Kathy C Vang (KCV) is a New York City (USA) based sustainable fashion brand inspired by the desire to live in a more sustainable, inclusive, and ethical world. Each design is infused with sustainable materials such as organics/recycled fabrics and are made ethically in the garment district of New York City.
Working with the Earth and its people, one of KCV’s many missions is to normalize an ethical, living wage for garment workers. Not only that, everything is made-to-order and custom sizing is available at no extra cost. The end result is to prove that fashion, style, ethics, and sustainability can co-exist.
HIROMI ASAI @hiromi.asai
Hiromi Asai is a United States-based fashion designer and kimono stylist. Hiromi creatively designs exclusive styles all made by Japanese high-end Kimono textiles. The Kimono was originally a Japanese garment with many unique features: form, motif, design, fabrics, and accessories. It has a long history — more than 1,000 years — in Japan, yet in its native country the art of kimono creation is on the verge of crisis. Reduction of the kimono market, aging of artisans, and lack of their successors are slowly fading the once vibrant art. Hiromi hopes to reverse the trend and bring her collection all made by Kimono textiles to its rightful forefront in fashion.
Hiromi Asai first developed women’s fashion made by Kimono textiles, presented Hiromi Asai & Kimono Artisan Kyoto collection at 2016 F/W New York Fashion Week, and distributed it to the world. Now Hiromi Asai expands her collection to men’s wear. Hiromi Asai provides her clients outfits of the highest quality. Hiromi also integrates fabrics of the highest quality and sophisticated elegant outlook.
MAHSA AZIDHAK @ma.design.2020
MA is a chic, sophisticated and luxury brand with meticulous attention to detail as an expression of Mahsa Azidhak’s passion for collaborating art and fashion in manifestation of her views of the world we are surrounded by today. Every single piece is hand-painted and hand stitched artwork which represents a different message.
Mahsa Azidhak started her brand with a vision to empower women as a representation of her artwork and fashion combined. The brand’s DNA is defined by hand-made garments and hand-painted fabrics which are one of a kind and they are all designed by the artist-designer specifically based on the theme of each collection, unique forms, and styles. Each garment is an exceptional design synonymous with feminine beauty, traditional art and modern fashion.
Mahsa’s mission is to provide women with luxurious handmade attires to embolden and embrace each and every feminine body alongside with depicting her message for peace, love and equality in the world, revealed in each print which are her hand painted artwork. Every garment by this brand is proudly made in Los Angeles, California from imported or domestic materials. The current offerings include high-fashion gowns and ready-to-wear dresses.
The Jomunjo atelier creates haute couture with its own exclusive fabrics based on carbon fiber and basalt fiber. The brand goes beyond the possible and makes garments with an exquisite combination of the avant garde with vintage touches. To empower all women and take on the world, conquering the impossible. Directed by the Catalan designer Jordi Muntané Jordán, creator of technological innovation, the brand is blatantly innovative and daring; her collection is elegantly unique, sensually feminine, with a style based on the avant-garde of its exclusive fabrics, which make women feel like almighty goddesses.
More than a decade ago, the designer Jordi Muntané Jordán, began to design and manufacture all kinds of articles in carbon fiber, falling more and more in love with this fantastic material. Over the years he thought that this wonderful compound could be manipulated in a different and disruptive way, that it was possible to find a way to create new products such as unique clothing, something that had never been seen before. Using technological innovation, the designer managed to create incredible clothing, never seen in carbon fiber and basalt fiber, breathable, comfortably wearable, surprisingly soft, with a shine and a unique touch.
As a result, he creates Jomunjo, a brand dedicated to the manufacture of exclusive, avant-garde, unique clothing, with elegance and inspiration from other eras such as Victorian, in an incredible combination of past and future. The avant-garde collection is a perfect example of everything that can be created with these exclusive fabrics, by themselves or in combination with other materials and fabrics. A collection that presents clearly transgressive and innovative fabrics in the world of fashion.
THE FALLEN COLLECTIONS @sam_the_fallen
The Fallen collections was founded in 2017 by Sam when he was only 17. When he finished high school, Sam wanted to get into the fashion industry. His only experience back then was hand sewing various recycled leather accessories and a coat made from old pairs of denim and leather pants. His head was full of ideas and he was determined to bring them to life. So he took a sewing class, only 38 hours, where he learned how to make a basic vest and a pair of pants. Since then, Sam taught himself various techniques by observing garments and watching lots and lots of tutorials. On July 27th 2018, Sam presented his first collection in the basement of a church in Sherbrooke, his home town. The minute the show was over, he wanted to do another one. So he designed and put together a second collection which he presented on August 31st 2019, this time in a local underground bar.
SIMA COLLEZIONE @simacollezione
Sima Collezione unravels to the world a preview showcase from her 50 exclusive, high style, never ever seen before evening wear dress collection. Her passion and heart and soul have merged to create an exclusive line. For the first time ever, Sima Collezione is bringing all the positive forces of nature into her one of a kind evening wear collection. Each of her dresses exemplifies a theme that encompasses the essence of love, peace, hope, faith, kindness and charity! She has blended beauty with heart and Soul!
Her dresses celebrate the ultimate of elegance, glamour, class and integrity. Each dress is unique and different yet at the same time cohesive to her theme. Each dress represents a deeper essence in nature and divinity. They are truly a work of art!
The mission of Sima Collezione is to empower women by bringing out each woman’s inner beauty and light. Each sale will help another woman in need through the brand’s charity! Sima’s dream is to empower all the women in the world and hopes all women stand as beacon of love, faith, hope and soldiers of light in our new world! She wants to build positive consciousness for women all around the globe!
New York Fashion Week