FASHIONISTA TAI BOWEN PAID THE PANDEMIC NO MIND when she opened her online boutique, White Flag Clothing, in September 2020. She put all of her passion and faith into the brand, confident her dreams would be pushed in the right direction. And they did. Within six months of White Flag Clothing’s debut, her lounge and streetwear creations had made six figures, Bowen tells Houstonia, and her ‘luxury-meets-modest’ pieces were high in demand.

But the 25-year-old’s success is a long-time coming. As a child, she got her first taste of the luxurious industry from her aunt, who’s a personal stylist. According to Bowen, watching her aunt piece together lavish outfits for her higher end clients strengthened her love for creative design.

She went on to study fashion merchandise at Louisiana State University, graduating in 2018. During school, she worked for various clothing stores, but it was a two-week fashion program that catapulted her desire to own her own brand.

“I did this intersession under LSU’s fashion program, and we met with designers like Tibi, Tom Ford, and Swarovski,” Bowen says. “Through this, I was able to see the fashion world from a different point of view. Not just the personal styling, but also how those pieces get to the runway.”

College was also where Bowen found her online shop’s name. During her sophomore year, a young woman from a church group asked to pray for her. She envisioned Bowen holding a white flag due to her surrendering her life to Christ. Two years later, she launched White Flag Clothing.

Since the brand’s debut, Bowen has launched several women and menswear collections, like “the essentials” and “c’est la vie,” which range from casual streetwear to lavish, night-on-the-town looks.

In April, White Flag released its “Spring Newness” line, a mini collection filled with soft pastel colors, lightweight fabrics, and flirty cuts perfect for the city’s sweltering summer weather. The condensed line features pieces like Bella ($65), a four-toned ostrich feather crop top, and Risque ($50), a bandeau and maxi skirt set in three pastel color options, plus bandeau top and short boxing sets ($60) that are reminiscent of the previous “Signature series” lineup.

“I wanted this collection to be more on the current trend, and how we can make it White Flag’s own,” Bowen says. “My campaigns are usually formal wear, but with this, I wanted to be able to still market to that audience who might want to go to a crawfish boil or a festival.”

Just in time for Mother’s Day, the White Flag is launching its new “Maternity Mom’s & On the Go” collection, which features affordable comfortable cuts, cozy high-fashion wear, and a refreshing color palette. Bowen says she yearned to create a line that’s breathable for both expecting mothers and the everyday girl. The signature collection sports a neutral-toned dress and black romper, perfect to dress up for a hearty brunch date or dress down for a quick grocery store run. Both items range from $45–55 and will drop on Mother’s Day.

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Written by Adrianne Reece of Houstonia Magazine