Flagship Duluth prints unique Northland apparel
Flagship Duluth is helping to breathe new life into Canal Park for both clothing consumers and artists. This one of a kind apparel store, which is located next to Adventure Zone and across the street from Green Mill, is quickly making a name for itself by offering garments that are both high quality and unique, all while helping provide new opportunities to local artists and designers.
The store’s owner, Ian Scherber, is also the owner of Duluth Screen Printing Company.
“He started screen printing at a super young age and has always had a passion for it,” Alex Demianiuk said, the companies chief marketing officer.
According to Demianiuk, the idea for Flagship stemmed from an increasing number of requests for individually printed or “one-of-one” designs at Duluth Screen Printing.
“I would describe Flagship as more like a brand, Duluth Screen Printing is a service,” Demianiuk said.
Flagship was created to put designers and artwork at the forefront, while still putting emphasis on quality apparel and live, in-house printing.
“We have a set of blank garments here too, so if you really like a certain design and want it printed on a certain garment, that’s something we can do. We can print it right in front of you,” Demianiuk said.
Duluth Screen Printing, on the other hand, was designed for companies or brands who are looking to have apparel printed in bulk.
If you happened to find yourself in Canal Park over fourth of July weekend this past summer, you would remember their grand opening event, which featured a live band playing on top of a shipping container, free pizza and beer, discounted clothing and live printing.
“We’re going to do more things like that in the future,” Demianiuk said. “For our one year anniversary and some of the bigger holidays, we’re going to throw some fun events down here.”
In the short period Flagship has been open, they’ve collaborated with over 20 local artists, including several UMD students.
“It’s a nice way to get your art out to a public platform early on and get some exposure,” Demianiuk said. “We’re always looking for new artists to collaborate with.”
The artists who work with Flagship get more than just a commission check at the end of each month. Every piece in the store also gets its own hang-tag, which includes a short bio about the artist that made the piece, as well as a link to any website or social media they’d like to include. For artists interested in collaborating, be sure to reach out by stopping in the store or visiting their website Flagship Duluth.
While there may be other clothing stores that feature designs by local artists, Flagship apparel is doing this exclusively.
“Every shirt you pick up, you know who designed it, and they’re always local,” Demianiuk said.
“It’s a great way to give back and draw some attention back to design. I think so many times when you’re shopping for apparel, you see the end product but you don’t see what goes into it, and I think that’s what we’re trying to shift. We want to slow down the buying process so that people know the story behind what their wearing.”
All eight of the company’s current collections aim to embody and tell the stories of different aspects of the Northland.
“For instance, Heritage is kind of a sub-collection of Flagship that helps bring attention to some of Duluth’s history; vintage companies, vintage businesses, that sort of thing,” Demianiuk said.
The store also hosts the first ever screen printed collaboration with Duluth Pack. Although there have been Duluth Pack collaborations in the past, Flagship was the first to be allowed to screen-print directly onto Duluth Pack canvas backpacks.
When it comes to pricing, Flagship is more than competitive.
“We have dual color printed t-shirts starting at $15,” Demianiuk said. “Sweatshirts start around $30, and we don’t have a garment in the store over $60.”
Demianiuk says that because they don’t have to turn to an outside printing company, they are able to skip a step in the process and bring product straight from a wholesale perspective to the consumer.
“We’re able to pay our artists, pay our rent, and still offer a quality product at a fair price,” Demianiuk said.
Besides shopping for unique garments like hats, backpacks and sweatshirts, Flagship is the perfect place to learn more about live screen printing, check out designs by local artists, or speak to an employee about creating a collaboration piece of your own.