by Nicole Kawahara
The Fashion industry is a fast-paced world, filled with beautiful garments and brilliant shows. How can LdM Fashion students, as the future of the industry, make a contribution to the world? Flo Concept store might be the place to find an answer. It offers an opportunity to go beyond the surface of the fashion world. Flo combines luxury fashion while giving back to the community. It is an example of a commercial-social business.
What exactly is a commercial-social business? It is a business that utilizes commercial tools to support a local cause. Flo uses luxury fashions to give back to the community, supporting a variety of causes. They seem to do it all and look fabulous while they do it!
Made for the woman who desires uniqueness and loves setting trends, each piece is carefully selected by the store managers and carries its own story. The designers have their own established identities, which shine through their pieces. Each line housed at Flo caters to a different kind of woman; from an older, classic woman to a young, trendy lady – there is certainly a piece for everyone.
A line named Manusa contains pieces made out of recycled garments created by designers with special needs, allowing them to improve their manual abilities and giving them a creative outlet. Or take the raggedy-dolls, proceeds from which help support long distance adoption. Support given to brands like these is what makes Flo truly unique.
Flo offers a shopping experience which also allows you to talk to the team of passionate managers and staff, and get a better understanding of the different causes each line contributes to. By buying pieces from these designers, the business becomes something more – it becomes a cycle of support.
No wonder, then, that a warm feeling welcomes you as you step into the store. At Flo, high fashion meets cozy and comfortable. True to the brand, even the furniture is recycled and refurbished. Future Visual Merchandisers – take note! The cozy atmosphere of the store fits the company’s identity perfectly, all the while being fun and entertaining to the eye.
If I could sum up Flo in two words, it would be “Fashionable Balance.” A balance between the commercial business and the social work, a balance between classics and trends, a balance in the color palette, a balance in the environmental sense. Us fashion students here at LdM are going to be designers, buyers, visual merchandisers, pattern makers, forecasters of the future. It is time we look to stores that are making an impact not only on the fashion world, but on the world beyond it.
Nicole Kawahara is a Fashion Design and Merchandising major from the University of Hawaii, with a focus on merchandising. During her stay at LdM she is doing a Fashion Merchandising internship with Flo Concept Store. After graduation, Nicole hopes to start her career in fashion PR or management.