® fltbys is a brand that is a true representation of hard work, diligence, and creative freedom. ® fltbys, or Flight Boys, is a lifestyle concept based on the downtown New York City culture. Founded in 2008, owner Avery Jones of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, came up with his brand in the 11th grade at the Brooklyn High School of the Arts. Feeling idle, he created this brand of t-shirts and five panels with the idea of sharing his creative beliefs and fashion taste with his peers. At 21 years old, he is now creating and selling his Winter 2014 and previewing his Spring 2014 line on his website and in the Lord Barker skate shop in East New York, Brooklyn, NYC!
Below is my interview with Avery Jones, and links to his website, videos featuring his apparel and blog where you can keep up with the culture and purchase some of his gear!
Wishing you the best,
*Why the name Flight Boys? What was the inspiration behind it?*
When I was in high school, I thought very differently from my peers. Everyone around me associated success with finishing high school, getting a college degree then getting a good job. I saw things differently. The name Flight Boys was inspired by the desire to push the envelope of creativity while constantly taking things to new heights.
*How did your peers react to seeing you wear your own brand? How fast did it take off in the 11th grade?*
People always knew that I didn’t really care about what everyone else was doing, or what was trendy at the moment. I always had my own style. Many people that I knew were supportive of it because no one else was doing it. We used to have Flight Boys showcases called “Flight Night”, that showcased local artists and a lot of people would come out. The brand caught on right away.
*What kind of apparel were you selling when you first started? Did the variety and prices change since then?*
We were selling t-shirts for $20 and sweatshirts for $40. Now we sell a variety of t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, and winter hats. Five panels are exclusive to Spring/Summer, and we have a bigger selection coming soon.
*You recently received the opportunity to sell your apparel in the first skate shop to open in East New York. Did you ever see your brand reaching that level of success?*
I always thought that it would. It was all a matter of time, and hard work. I always wanted Flight Boys to be sold in stores, but the fact that the first store to carry the ® fltbys brand is the first skate shop in East New York makes it ten times more special. Brooklyn is always changing, and East New York is one of the last neighborhoods that hasn’t been gentrified. So I am honored to be a part of the skate culture in the neighborhood. Kids from East New York are mainly black and latino, and a lot of kids from the neighborhood skate. Now they no longer have to travel all the way downtown Brooklyn to get supplies, they have something in their neighborhood for them. The fact that® fltbys could even be a part of that is a blessing.
*Your latest phrase that is on your apparel is “We All We Got”, and the FLTBYS colorway changed from red and white to black and white. What was the inspiration behind that phrase and colorway, and will you have a different phrase and colorway for every seasonal collection?*
“We All We Got” actually comes from a scene in the movie “New Jack City”. I decided to put it on a shirt because as an artist and musician, I understand the struggle of trying to get people to understand you and support you. So, I wanted to start a campaign called “We All We Got”, which is basically a message to all underground artists. As far as the colorway goes, I just felt like I needed a change. This is just a design, so, sometimes we’ll use powerful phrases and sometimes we’ll just switch up the color of the logo.
*What is one piece of advice that you would give to up and coming entrepreneurs?*
*Where can we purchase your apparel online and in stores, and where can we keep up with the culture?*
www.fltbys.com for both apparel and culture, and 535 Sutter Avenue, East New York, Brooklyn, NYC.