Tajuwon Bowen is a twenty something fashion entrepreneur who studied Fashion Merchandising while in college at LSU. She is a wife, mom, fashion buyer and now the C.E.O. of her own clothing brand, White Flag Clothing. We linked up with this beauty to discuss her journey and how she’s beautifully balancing all of the hats she wears.
Take us on the journey of deciding to be in the fashion industry and the steps you took to making that a reality.
TB: I always knew that I wanted to be in the Fashion Industry. The career path I fell in love with, was being a Creative Director of a high end brand, such as Lanvin, Louis Vuitton. During undergrad, I went on a two week fashion trip to New York City. While there, I met with designers and companies such as Tom Ford, Swarovski, Tibi, Dynamix, which is the company who does some of the fashion week collection pieces for Ralph Lauren and Oscar De La Renta. I visited The Fashion Institute, and the Macy’s Flagship Store in Herald Square.
In addition, I explored a day in the Met Gala to see the amazing historic designs of Schiaparelli and Issey Miyake. My favorite part was taking an exclusive tour in the Lord & Taylor Department store, and watching them prepare for the iconic Christmas in New York Window Displays. I learned so much on that trip! From the behind the scenes of creating a runway piece, to seeing the actual piece in store. My love for Fashion excelled. Upon my return, I researched the Creative Director’s of these high end companies, and studied their journey.
I then realized that I didn’t want to move to Paris, because that’s where most of the Fashion Haus were located. I was engaged at the time, and I knew that I wouldn’t want to uproot my husband to another country lol. That’s when I knew I had to be the creative director of my own Brand… When I graduated I worked for a buying office, where I was able to work behind the scenes and learn the process from when a product was purchased by the buyer to seeing the product in the store, but that didn’t fuel my passion for having my own touch.
I’m sure many readers want to know, what was it like being a fashion major in college?
TB: As a fashion major, it was such a fun and refreshing experience. Before I found out about LSU’s Fashion Program, initially I was a pharmacy major. Imagine the relief and excitement I felt when entering the fashion program. Being surrounded by creative and fashion forward students made it so much more exhilarating. Everyone had their own style which was so amazing. Since it was a handful of us, we dressed up daily. With similar schedules, we experienced the entire four years together. Always talking about our career paths post college.
White Flag clothing is so versatile, from basic sweat suits to leather pieces and very sexy dresses. What inspired the aesthetic of the clothing line?
TB: My personal style, and love for few favorite brands inspired the aesthetic. I did not want my brand to be only known for one style. But, a place where everyone can relate. White Flag has something for a diverse set of styles. My favorite brand is Chanel, but I also strongly love brands such as; Prada and Louis Vutton. I remember wishing that there was a brand who encompassed all of those brands’ styles in one. I don’t have a signature look, I can be very chic, street style, boho chic, or formal. Whatever I’m feeling like at the moment, and that’s what I want my consumers to experience; options.
Did you experience any tribulations that you had to overcome during the process of launching White Flag Clothing?
TB: Oh Goodness! I have experienced tribulations I’ve overcame. My manufacturers are overseas, communication isn’t always prompt. Literally, the week before the launch, my point of contact left and moved on to another manufacturer. So basically, I had to start over with a new point of contact. You’re going to run into problems, like your samples may not come back the way you want them, so now you’ve wasted money, etc.. But you’ll get through it.
We love watching you dress up Spain and treat her like the princess she is. What’s your secret to balancing mom life and business?
TB: My secret is patience and prayer. Spain is amazing, she is my little helper. I definitely have a schedule going, my time is split between work and mommy duty. But, Spain wants all of my time of course. When my husband gets home, she forgets about me lol. Per usual, “Mom life” comes first.
What mantras are you living by right now?
TB: “Allow God to lead the way” and “Today is a day, to take it up a notch”
What can everyone expect from White Flag Clothing for the Fall and Winter seasons?
TB: Fall and Winter is my absolute favorite, so you can expect pieces definitely tailored to my personal style and taste. Daring pieces from various animal prints, elevated and classics such as turtlenecks, but of course with White Flag’s signature appeal.
What are you doing when you’re not wearing the hat of an entrepreneur?
TB: Currently spending time with my family and friends, and of course shopping with my daughter Spain. My husband is spontaneous, when there’s down time he definitely takes advantage, and plans mini getaway trips!
Where do you see your clothing line in five years?
TB: I vision my clothing line global, featured in magazines on runways and evolving over time. With the hopes of a storefront, by year five. I live for today and not tomorrow. White Flag Clothing will continue to thrive and grow.
What advice would you give to young women looking to get into the fashion industry?
TB: Follow your dreams, do not give up. The opportunities are limitless. There’s a need for your talent. You can achieve anything that you set your mind to. Ask God for guidance, he will never lead you wrong.