Fun, flirty and fashionable

By Shaneia Caldwell

Contributing Reporter

Downtown Rochester is home to a host of clothing stores. Flirty Fashions has recently been added to the list and is now the new store on the block.


As you step through the door, expect to experience a warm greeting and an associate available to answer all of your questions and show you the latest items that will cater to your personal tastes. 

If you decide to bring a friend, they can relax on a leather couch as you take your time looking through one-of-a-kind pieces. 

All of the silhouettes are categorized and neatly placed on racks. If you feel the urge to share this experience, throw a fashion party inside of the store, free of charge.

The trendy unisex clothier is in a league of its own, with a glass chandelier hanging from the ceiling, casual lounge area, purple and green floors and matching décor.

“Rochester didn’t have anything like this,” said owner Diane Fornari. 

The city’s community-oriented feel played a role in attracting the fashion-forward store. 

“The city does things to promote and bring people downtown, which a lot of cities don’t do,” Fornari said. 

Flirty Fashions opened its doors on Nov. 16, just 14 days after owner Fornari signed the contract.  

“It was a leap of faith for me,” Fornari said. She seemingly soared into fashion retail overnight after being a realtor for 13 years. 

In five weeks the store sold 1,500 items, according to Fornari. 

“We’re doing really well,” Fornari said, while wearing a double-breasted leopard print jacket which retails for $139 in the store.

As customers enter the fashion house, Fornari gladly welcomes them with a warm smile and greeting. 

She works alongside five other employees. The laid-back atmosphere allows customers to get to know associates on a personal level. 

“I rather they [customers] walk out with nothing than something that doesn’t look right,” said Reem Bitrus, associate manager at Flirty Fashions. Bitrus said she is always honest with customers when they ask for advice. 

As Fornari defines it, the fun, flirty and fashionable boutique encompasses everything from women’s denim, wool coats, whimsical cocktail dresses, business attire, high-waisted skirts, an array of handbags and women’s accessories to men’s sunglasses, scarves and money clips. 

A men’s clothing line will soon hit the racks. 

Every thread is unique and original. “Everything speaks for itself,” said Bitrus. “You can always expect something different.”

The catalog of labels includes New London Jeans, Adrianna Peppell, Sue Wang, London Times, Aria and Kensie.

The prices range from $10-$450. 

“Our whole feel is that you could walk out with an outfit, head-to-toe, for under $150,”Fornari said. 

The clothing is imported from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Dallas, and Canada will soon be added to the list. 

Although most of the clothing is shipped, Fornari hand picks many of the garments. “I personally like to pick everything out. I like to touch it and feel it to make sure it’s a good quality,” she said.

The goal of Flirty Fashions is to meet the needs of the vast majority and be reasonably priced. 

“We want to make everything affordable,” Fornari said.  “We’re not Target or Kohl’s but we’re not Nordstrom either.”

The stylish store owner plans to not only team up with local organizations for fashion shows but also to host fashion parties in the store’s lounge area. Fornari has hopes of opening a couple more stores in the Metro Detroit area, too.

Shop at Flirty Fashions from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. 

Flirty Fashions is located on 121 East Third Street.