Designer Spotlight: Flying Solo Designers Ready-to-wear Part 2 NYFW Fall 2021

This season Flying Solo has brought a record number of about 110 independent designers showcasing more than 500 looks. The Ready-to-Wear collection combines the energy of urban streetwear fashion and the classic codes of old world elegance. The collections place value in the creativity of the designers and those who wear them as a new purpose for fashion.

Khrystyana @khrystyana (454K), America’s Next Top Models and a body positivity advocate walked in the show along with other influencers Danielle Moinet @daniellemoinet (1.7M), Cory Wade @corywadeofficial (204K), Beth Walkemeyer @bethwalkemeyer (93K), and Anastasia Bogushevskaya @nastya_bog_official (29.7K)

Flying Solo Designers Ready-to-wear Part 2


Photos: Getty Images, Ilya S. Savenok

Below are unique stories of Flying Solo’s brands:

KATE BARTON @katebartondesign

Kate Barton is an emerging American fashion designer advancing unique approaches to evening wear. She focuses on creating womenswear that is both sculptural and innovative while still being wearable and empowering. With an emphasis on innovation through two techniques, acrylic thermoforming and fabric manipulation cutting methods, her designs remain true to her aesthetic of elegance and sophistication, while exposing modern, bold details. The silhouettes and unconventional material combinations used in her collections continually push the exploration of 3-dimensional shapes while infusing contrasting elements to create emphasis and detail. She feels it’s important to have a balance between creating art and making the person feel beautiful in the garment.

Barton grew up in Kansas City and earned her bachelor’s degree at The University of Alabama in fashion merchandising and business. She will receive her Masters degree from Savannah College of Art and Design in fashion design in 2021. During her time at SCAD, Barton has been recognized by the CFDA as a national Finalist, awarded the winner of Christian Siriano’s Live Red Carpet Event showcasing young designers, and was featured in SCAD’s Fashion in Frame film. Recently, Barton has begun expanding her designs beyond couture gowns to feature accessories, shoes, and ready-to-wear pieces. Through experimentation with technology, innovative approaches, and shape-testing, the designer is striving to create an atmosphere that entices the exploration of form and gives purpose and authenticity to an elegant garment.

SOPHIA NUBES @sophia_nubes

Sophia Nubes is jersey couture! Jersey fabrics make up the collection – Sophia Nubes – ready to wear – Sophia Nubes ready to wear is a demi-couture collection, it is also composed of some more exclusive pieces that make up the capsule “Sophia Nubes – haute couture”. In the collection there is also a demi-couture part with a capsule of t-shirts and jeans, many streetwear details, all very comfortable.

Elena and Giulia created this concept in 2016, they worked on the styling, on the product, the wearability and the quality of fabrics. In 2017 they applied at the Arab Fashion Council in Dubai and were selected to present their collection at the Arab Fashion Week. This allowed the brand to immediately have international visibility.

In addition to a fashion brand with very cutting-edge garments, Sophia Nubes is also a vehicle in support of cancer research and in general in support of all the weakest minorities. A new model is created every day in the Sophia Nubes style office. The work of Elena and Giulia is inherited from grandmothers and mothers, an art that is part of the DNA of the Italian tailoring tradition, something that cannot be taught and cannot be copied.

MAYA SEYFERTH @mayaseyferth

The label is the product of inspiration from several cultures that can be found in the life of designer Maya Seyferth. Maya is a German designer, comes from Tbilisi, Georgia, from a region where European and oriental influences come together in fashion. This cultural background was accentuated during the three-year stay in Paris and for a total of ten years in Hamburg. Maya has been living in Zurich since May 2013, where she obtained her CAS degree in fashion and founded the label.

Maya Seyferth brand’s goal is that every person who wears the clothing feels stylish and confident. Maya Seyferth takes time to create drafts and carefully check whether the cut is good for the figure, whether the garments are comfortable and easy to combine. Maya Seyferth offers handmade knitwear and shoes that are handcrafted in a small atelier in Georgia. In this way, the individual look is created, which lets every woman express her attitude towards life and feel good.

J’AMEMME @jamemme

J’Amemme is a wearable couture brand based in Kyiv, Ukraine. It is known for weightless organza pleats, exaggerated silhouettes and semi-transparent textures. The brand’s DNA is defined by hand-crafted fabrics, architectural shapes and bright candy colors of the garments. Its mission is to show that traditional techniques of haute couture are fit for modern day reality.

J’Amemme’s collections have been showcased at both New York and Paris Fashion Weeks. The brand has been featured in over 200 editorials within the last year, including Vogue Italy, Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, Elle Russia, L’Officiel Austria, Glamour South Africa, the Washington Post. Maye Musk and Kat Graham are among the brand’s fans.

BUGARIC @bugaric_

Goran Bugaric founded his Brand BUGARIC in October 2012. Since the beginNing the Brand is based in Vienna co-working space SchnittBOGEN. Design process, pattern making, cutting and executing is done by the designer himself. Once a year a limited pret-a-porter collection is presented on the runway.

Besides the Collection, the DNA of the Brand is a custom made tailored line that includes Eveningwear, Bridalwear, Casualwear etc. Personal approach and diversity is what the brand stands for.

JACQUELINE CITY APPAREL @jacquelinecityapparel

Jacqueline City Apparel is the brand created by Jacqueline City, a 24 year old who dreamt of a “new approach to fashion” which would be a welcoming frontier that focuses on inclusivity. Jacqueline City knows how it feels not to be included because she is disabled. City suffers from dysautonomia, which at its worst left her bedridden and forced her to lose 50 pounds. City stresses the importance of inclusion; her brand has options for women, men, unisex, kids and plus sizes up to a 5X.

JCA also focuses on sustainable, slow vegan fashion. In 2020, Jacqueline City Apparel made its runway debut with Flying Solo just one year after its launch as a “New York Fashion Week: Ones to Watch.” City has since been featured in Vogue 3 times and has been recognized by Marquis “Who’s Who In America.” Jacqueline City Apparel’s next collection will debut in New York Fashion Week in September 2021 before her international debut at Paris Fashion Week in 2022.

SHANAYA AND ELINA @shanayaelina

Two Mothers with Love for their little princesses and Passion for empowering kids and empowering women around the World offer boutique, beautiful, handmade kids clothing line for elegant and ready-to-wear occasions. We mix Cultures, Materials, and Colors from different parts of the World to bring inclusion in fashion, design, and style to raise the understanding and appreciation for creativity and beauty. Thus, our kids will continue to bring grace and confidence for the generations to come! We hope you enjoy wearing our designs as much as we love making them for you!

These pieces are made from cotton, linen, high-quality velvet, satin, silk, poplin, tulle, or its mixture. handmade embroidery, inbuilt petticoat, or just a pair of matching bloomers accompany most of these creations. Our products are all designed in the USA and manufactured Overseas. All Embroidery is designed in the USA and is either handmade or machinery made.

THE TAILORY NEW YORK @thetailorynyc

The Tailory New York is an appointment-only custom clothing company that combines modern Fashion Design with the heritage art of Custom Tailoring. The designer believes that clothing is genderless, and they cater in equal measure to men, women, and non-binary individuals. The idea for The Tailory New York began when the designer decided to direct the years of fashion design and men’s tailoring experience towards their own wardrobe. As a pantsuit aficionado and a lover of men’s fashion and tailoring, the designer was always drawn to tailored clothing and strived to create fashion that conveyed the same message of confidence that a perfectly custom-tailored suit did for men. The passion for fashion and tailoring led the designer through the Fashion Design program at Parsons followed by stints in custom tailoring, fashion design, fashion styling, and brand development.

So in 2013 The Tailory New York was launched as a way to combine two passions: Fashion Design and Custom Tailoring. Everyone wants to look their best and having a wardrobe curated to your body and lifestyle not only enables you to look your best but makes you feel your best.

IAN ALEXANDER @ianalexander.studio

From Asheville, North Carolina, Ian Alexander created his namesake label in January 2021 after graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in graphic design and visual communication. As of today, he has released two couture collections and one ready-to-wear collection, with two more releases planned for this year. Season 3 will debut in September at NYFW, and Season 4 will debut less than a month later at LAFW. As a self-taught fashion designer with a background in graphic design, Alexander bridges the gap between contemporary art and high fashion by making one-of-one pieces and combining raw images with 3-D assets to create surreal landscapes.

RAFAIEL @rafaielknitwear

Rafaiel was founded in 2021 by Darcey Lehman, who set out to create ethical, handmade knitwear that celebrates the uniqueness of humanity. The brand is undeniably modern but found its ethos in ancient philosophy and naturalism. Ever evolving, Rafaiel is the result of years’ worth of thoughtful planning, ensuring nothing was compromised in creating conscious garments with purpose. Addressing the needs of an increasingly conscious generation of consumers, Rafaiel seeks to bring humanism, innovation and inclusivity to the knitwear industry.

Launched into a world reeling from the effects of COVID-19 and the climate crisis, Rafaiel is a concept brand that has relevance to today’s society and the new way people live. Closets now revolve more around ‘in-between’ pieces and hybrid garments that have multiple functions. Utilizing a series model, each drop was designed to last, and Rafaiel encourages their customers to get creative with how they wear the pieces and utilize them as much as possible. Trusting in science and Darwin’s theory of evolution, the brand will continually progress, but onlythe strongest and most ergonomic garments will endure. Darcey Lehman built Rafaiel to be part of the celebration of every human body, and an inclusive fantasy that high fashion nurtures.

DELIRIUM DREAMING @deliriumdreaming_

DELIRIUM DREAMING was started in August of 2020 but became a concept in May of 2020 as the Founder and Designer Kasiah Harrison age 21 was doing her college work from her home in New Jersey. Kasiah Harrison has always been into fashion because of her fashionable Grandmother. Kasiah Always enjoyed shows like Project Runway and Making the cut so in May of 2020 during the global pandemic she started to design her first collection. The Designer Kasiah Harrison has always admired designers like Kanye West and Virgil Abloh even naming her dog after the Designer.

DELIRIUM DREAMING is a brand for the Urban Fashion icon and the Suburban rebel. DELIRIUM DREAMING has been worn by Aries and was on the site Trill Market. DELIRIUM DREAMING has punk and street influences . With different and eccentric styles all while still being wearable. Kasiah wanted to make a brand that is unique and fun.

RANDOM AFFECTS @randomaffects

Random Affects is avant-garde, postmodern, gender and size-inclusive streetwear. Imagined and created by the visionary, future-forward Jordan Princiotta, each item of apparel is individually crafted using thrifted clothing and recycled fabrics. Inspired by simple elements we encounter in our everyday lives, in our streets, grocery stores and encounters with others, Princiotta’s pieces transform these elements into wearable art. Each piece is upcycled using paint, screen printing, patchwork, and 3D textiles.

The brand’s mission is to integrate fashion and art by transforming yesterday’s apparel into tomorrow’s new, innovative, and wearable looks. Removing boundaries and driving for greater inclusivity, Random Affects is original, accessible and contemporary fashion people want to wear.

DE MAISONNEUVE @georgia_demaisonneuve

De Maisonneuve is a New York based brand created by Georgia Manning. The name De Maisonneuve, or “of the new house” in English, is the maiden name of Georgia’s French grandmother. Georgia’s new house presents clothing that reflects the struggle of being human, as fashion is at its core human-centered art. De Maisonneuve’s debut collection titled “True Nourishment” represents the human struggle with accepting one’s own humanity. In essence, it is about reclaiming your humanness and rejecting the notion that unhappiness in pursuit of perfection is a measure of success.

As a society we have come to feel shame for the most basic of needs, this phenomenon has been exacerbated by the uncertainty and stress that surround the current political and social climate. The needs True Nourishment focuses on are the two most prevalent in daily life: food and love. The collection is a quest to reclaim humanity by designing pieces that reflect a life of depth and true nourishment. Viewers of the collection can experience the message with the ability to reflect on their own personal connection to, and experiences with, humanity, food, and love. It is the designer’s hope that the clothing and the narrative it represents will bring ease to the audience in a time of extreme anxiety. Remind yourself, it is okay to be human, to feel hungry, full, loved and lonely.

HOLICHIC @holichicbymegha

Growing up as a first generation Indian American, designer Megha Rao was constantly inspired by her two contrasting worlds of East & West. This fuse was the driving force behind the creation of the brand, holiCHIC. Empowered by the vibrancy of South Asian culture, their designs are rich in detail, derived from century old Indian craftsmanship techniques, flattering silhouettes, hand dyed fabrics and intricate artisanal embroideries. The word “Holi” is taken from the exuberant Hindu spring festival symbolizing color and love. Paired with “Chic” it creates a new standard of modern opulence.

The brand’s mission is to keep South Asian culture alive through the expression of fashion. The label represents a thoughtful movement of creating meaningful garments for versatility and longevity. Allowing you to shop in a more meaningful, sustainable way, building your wardrobe with timeless staples you can wear season after season. Notably, holiCHIC has evolved into much more than just a fashion brand, amassing a loyal community of (85,000 and counting) women who have learned to own and embrace their unique identities.

EARS OF BUDDHA @earsofbuddha

EARS OF BUDDHA is designed by franny koelsch who has 26 years + experience as a Houston, Texas art dealer and gallery owner. koelsch studied fashion at the University of Texas at Austin in the late 1980’s, moved to New York beginning her career at Barneys New York. franny returned to Houston in the 1990’s, she opened koelsch gallery in 1994. franny’s love of fashion never ceased and adding her love of art to the formula inspired her to establish EARS OF BUDDHA in 2017.

Molly Glentzer wrote “her artful designs have caught the eyes of influencers and appeared in major magazines including Italian Vogue. She started with classic, cotton black or white shirts, but more recent tops and bottoms are a fun blast of eye-popping silks. So Summer of Love meets the 1980’s. Lace-layered collars and yokes, mismatched cuffs and exposed seams also make them hard to miss.” Another client describes the designs as Paris meets Texas. EARS OF BUDDHA’s latest Sustainability Collection is one of a kind Upcycled Denim and Vintage pieces. franny finds vintage denim and clothing which she turns into unique pieces of wearable art. koelsch could not handle the waste of samples, discontinued shirts and marked out of stock flaws. She cut the collar, cuffs, yolks and more off these pieces and used them to give the vintage pieces new life. The upcycled pieces then receive a final touch of either art handkerchief(s) by artist Max Rada Dada, repurposed embroideries or both.

ARAZIA BEACHWEAR @araziabeach

Newly launched in late May 2021, Arazia Beachwear is created and designed by Houston designer Arabella. Growing up in a remote city in Borneo, Indonesia, Arabella spent most of her teen years designing and sketching. She mentioned “Where I grew up in Indonesia, there were no shopping malls. At age nine, I learned to sew because I wanted to make something different that wasn’t available to me at that time”. She then studied textile and fashion design in Bandung, Indonesia and was able to represent her school showcasing her designs at the Jakarta fashion week. She was one of the 6 finalists of Indonesian young designers contest to compete to the ASEAN level.

Arazia Beachwear is inspired by exquisite travels, elegant lifestyle and femininity. Focusing on silhouettes and construction that accentuate women’s curves, the designs are simple and elegant with a touch of glamour and sensuality. The swimwear employs rust free custom embellishments and fine material that is lined seamlessly with the softest fabric that feels like fine lingerie. It is the black tie of swimwear and it denotes a degree of fanciness, created for style conscious women who are confident and carefree.

AMY PAGE DEBLASIO @apdpvd

Amy Page DeBlasio is a distinctive and ethical luxury design label founded in 2017. Each APD piece is a wearable work of art, radiating movement and energy in a seamless blend of urban attitude and edgy sophistication. From each design concept to every stitch, APD reveals impeccable attention to detail. Through a mix of bold fabrics and luxe textiles, APD designs demand attention, provoke excitement, and express confidence. APD is more than a trend, it’s a lifestyle. Designed in our Rhode Island studio and made in the USA with pride.

VI’AJHE @byviajhe

Armani Vi’Ajhe Baty, the owner and founder of Vi’Ajhe LLC, is from Grand Rapids, MI. What started in 2018 as just an idea, has now developed into a luxury brand. The designer’s vision was to display fashion while addressing personal appearance.

Vi’Ajhe offers premium head attire targeting men’s daily essentials. In addition to the men’s collection, the brand is aspiring to expand their products. The collection is original and uniquely designed. The products provide discipline for forming and maintaining 360 degree waves. As the brand continues to grow, it is committed to exceptional customer services and cutting edge fashion.

TEDDY AND ME CLOTHING @teddyandme.clothing

Teddy and Me Clothing has been a Canadian company since 2020. The brand decided to start fresh in the year 2021 and expanded in the US. New York has become Teddy and Me Clothing’s base for all New Collections and all new good things to come.

Teddy and Me Clothing is a Unique baby’s and Kid’s Fashion Brand, Preemie to Size 14 years old. All the products are handmade. The brand manufactures the products in Brazil. One can find in the products the best Fabric for the Clothing and good materials for Accessories as well. The most important thing is to be comfortable and happy, after that the Fashion comes naturally.

RAFINAD BY YANA STROKOVA @rafinadshop_usa

Rafinad is an American brand with Russian heritage. It embodies the personal style of Yana Strokova (designer and founder) who hails from Saint-Petersburg, where she developed her passion towards design.

Yana Strokova is committed to bring her unique vision shaped by Eastern-European traditions and style. Rafinad is known in Russia as one of the first brands which used only natural materials. Relaunching brand in America in 2018, Yana is on the mission to shape the future of sustainable fashion.

BASIC THREADZ DENIM @basicthreadzclothingco

Basic Threadz is a Urban Streetwear Brand that was created By designer Shawn Hutton Sr. based in the US out of Seattle,WA. Basic Threadz is where Streetwear and Classy come together. Providing high-quality products, creative designs, and affordability will allow us the longevity and sustainability to stay competitive in the Clothing industry.

Basic Threadz is not a one Dimensional brand! Ladies and fella can wear joggers set to the gym,or they can Jazz them up and wear it to the club. “It’s not what you wear it’s how you wear it”.

FLAT PLUTO @flatplutoltd

Luxury cashmere with a twist Mother and daughter founders, Lynn Pryor and Isabelle Scheyd, collaborate with tattoo artists to produce soft and luxurious royal cashmere jumpers.

Attention to detail is a hallmark of the brand’s designs. Each limited-edition, hand-numbered jumper features unique detailing in intarsia and hand-embroidery. Sustainability is very important to the designers, they take great care in sourcing, production, and packaging.

This collection showcases original designs by London tattoo artist Jack Watts of Tattoos For Your Enemies.

ART POINT @artpointvienna

Art point is a Vienna based fashion brand, founded in 1999/Moscow by Lena Kvadrat. Approaching clothing as a fundamental way of communication, no different from mobile telephony, art point creates garments that encode and decode this language of fashion.

LE’ FOREIGN @le.foreigns

Le’ Foreign was founded from the designer’s existence as a Belizean from Central America travelling to the United States for entrepreneurial opportunities. Each article is specifically designed with only black and white fabric, as a beautiful and minimalist approach to signify unity as black and white are shades that represent our world today.

With a background in culinary arts, the designer is passionate about delivering a unique and unforgettable experience. So traveling into the world of fashion, the designer has a vision for clothing that makes you feel relaxed and sexy in your own skin. From this concept, Le’ Foreign was born.

PORSHIA @porshia_luxe_designs

The Porshia brand, a USA based clothing company, is a luxury clothing line founded in 2019 by Porshia Banks. The inspiration for the brand is to help women embrace their fun, flirty and sexier side through fashion while maintaining femininity and class. Porshia: The Calabasas Collection is the inaugural collection and sets the tone for a fabulous and fashionable future. Providing high quality celebrity inspired looks at an affordable cost is what we do.

AKOBIMEN @akobimen

AKOBI means first born in Nigerian language. Zainab Phillips is a veiled Muslimah designer, the first woman to represent men’s fashion with an all male team. Incorporating her personal trademark of mehndi, specifically flowers, Phillips introduced designs that defeat the need for labels, mixing masculine styles with feminine elements.

AKOBI is a way to give men a broader outlet to find their own personal style and to change the conversation surrounding fashion and gender expression. Men should choose clothes that represent their ambition and desires, with AKOBI Global lifestyle for Men they have limitless possibilities.

MAISON NOU @maisonnou

Turning sleepwear into all day wear! Maison Nou is a global luxury Pyjamas brand. It was created by Sarah Bourouis, a first time mom and fashion lover. After giving birth to her daughter, Sarah found herself in pajamas all day long. Nothing fit her, nothing felt good or looked good on her with her new body and nothing could conceal the postpartum recovery undergarments except pajamas. Getting dressed to get out of the house as a new mom and with a newborn is almost impossible. Pajamas were the only thing she felt comfortable in and wanted to wear. But there was a problem, they looked like pajamas and weren’t very stylish. So she decided to create her own and thus Maison Nou was born. She created pyjamas that any woman, or man, can wear at any time. Pyjamas that make leaving the house a less stressful moment for everyone.

The brand’s goal is to provide comfort without compromising style, to give you the most confidence to allow you to be your best self. They know how hard it is to look in your closet when you’re not feeling your best or in a rush and just want to scream because you can not find anything to wear.

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With love,

FWO