How DIY Fashion Collective Flying Solo Is Taking Direct-to-Consumer Retail Offline

Following a direct-to-consumer model instead of relying on wholesale accounts has become the norm among young, emerging brands. This type of business is primarily achieved online through e-commerce, but Flying Solo in New York City aims to connect with shoppers face to face from a storefront in Nolita.

Clothing and jewelry on display inside Flying Solo.

Founded by jewelry designer Elizabeth Solomeina, Flying Solo is a DIY fashion collective made up of 45 independent and local designers who have joined forces to afford a 2,000-square-foot space on Mulberry Street. "We want to sell to customers but we have no place to do so. With this concept, we basically cut out the middleman," says Solomeina. "Here, we can present our whole vision." The foot traffic is perfect for Flying Solo. Located on a quiet side street filled with small boutiques — just blocks away from Broadway's bustling strip of brand-name flagships in Soho — the shop welcomes a solid mix of tourists and fashion-loving locals. As a result, the designers benefit from hearing feedback firsthand, and in return, they can immediately improve their product and brand.

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