Originally published in the May 2015 issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine
By Maria V. Luna
When Vaughn Johnson, owner of Flawnt Accessories, looks for inspiration, he finds it just a holler away. The company features bold statement pieces for the woman who is unafraid and daring. Who encourages Johnson’s striking selections? His Latina wife.
Tell us about your relationship.
We’ve been together for many, many years. If you ask her how long, when I’m in the room, she’ll look my way and say, “Boo, tell them how long,” because she doesn’t actually know how long it’s been. My relationship is built on, in my opinion, what keeps good relationships thriving, which is COMMUNICATION. We talk about everything no matter how difficult, how harsh, uneasy or funny. We’re not afraid to be us. They say opposites attract and that’s true. We’re not completely opposite but we are opposite in a lot of ways. We balance each other out and talk each other off the ledge. We don’t get tired of each other. We continue to enjoy each other and actually look forward to being together after all these years. We can be in two separate rooms in the house, but as long as we’re both in the house we’re good—just a holler away (she loves to holler).
What are some cultural differences between your family and your wife’s family?
Besides the obvious Black American and Latin American. Soul food and Latin food. Not much at all. They both believe family comes first. They both came from urban backgrounds. They both struggled coming up—no silver spoons or privileged upbringings.
What kind of lady is your wife?
She retained a lot of her Latin roots, or should I say culture, where she likes to take care of her family, believes in keeping a clean home (I say it’s O.C.D.),very giving and welcoming. There’s not a selfish bone in her body. And we can’t forget the heat. The fiery side. She will black out on you at the drop of a dime. She’s a great wife and a wonderful friend.
How did your Latina wife inspire your fashion accessory business?
She allowed me to use her as my canvas for creativity. She believes in my visions and 99% of the time she gets it. When I share with her things that I like and my thoughts on what would work with a particular accessory, she actually likes what I put together and says, “I would wear that.” I love her adventurous side with fashion. She’s not afraid to step out the box. She doesn’t conform to the norm or trends. She likes what she likes regardless of what anyone thinks, including me.
Johnson says through trial and error he’s learned so much about becoming an entrepreneur. Here, he shares 5 tips for anyone starting their own fashion accessory business.
- Start small. Use a template to create your website as opposed to a custom website just to get started. There are plenty of resources available now to create an online presence. To get your products out, you don’t have to spend alot of money.
- Don’t follow trends. You can include trendy things in your business, but don’t make that the core of your business because they come and go fast. Don’t be afraid to be different. Lead the new wave; don’t follow it with your products.
- Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to promote your business.
- Pay attention to what’s going on around you; what’s being worn by your target customer, color, size, length, etc.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Why did you buy this particular item? How much did you pay for it? Do you prefer to buy your accessories online or at a store?
She’s emerged from behind her mother’s shadow and has finally come into her own; Chiquis Rivera gives LatinTRENDS her most open and honest interview yet. Rivera sets the record straight about issues like; not being the root cause of her mother, Jenni “La Diva de la Banda” Rivera and Esteban Loaiza’s divorce; her sexual identity; and her relationship with her fans. Rivera also discusses her new book, “Forgiveness” and her new album “Ahora.”
Leslie Grace is a rising star and she has no competition. In her interview with LatinTRENDS, Leslie Grace reflects on having achieved musical success while still in high school and why she chose bachata as a musical genre. She discusses her new EP “Lloviendo Estrellas,” one that marks Grace’s debut with Sony Music Latin.
He’s a household name, but Jorge Bernal details how he went from wiping cameras and sweeping sets to becoming the host of hit shows like “Al Rojo Vivo,” “Suelta la Sopa” and “La Voz Kids.”
This month, LatinTRENDS gets deep into issues affecting our culture. See our in-depth piece about the influence of Caitlyn Jenner on the Trans Latino community; the brutal tale of Liza Rios’ marriage to Christopher Lee Rios, also known as “Big Pun;” and a who’s who among Latino billionaires.
This issue also highlights fashion designers Iliana Quander and Martin Polanco and their dedication to eco-friendly fashion. In addition, our summer issue showcases travel to Cartagena, Colombia; the psychology of music; and summer super foods.
LatinTRENDS produces cutting edge content and distributes it in a 360° integrated platform, which includes print, online, digital and social media. The company also activates Geo-targeted branding & awareness campaigns for brands and produces lifestyle & influencer events.
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For more information, please contact Maria V. Luna at (212) 851-6164 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This Cuban American fashionista has a keen eye for colors and contrasts. She is what I would call the ‘Latina Fashion Police.’ So move over, Kathy Griffen here comes Yas Gonzalez. Don’t let her sweetheart appearance fool you! On Sabado Gigante, Yas made her debut illustrating the importance of self confidence with sass, politely emphasizing the importance of “Do’s” and the “Do not even think about it, of being in-style.”
Let’s be real, Miami is the heart of viewing bodacious buff men and babies with the Jlo booty. But its not all about the shape, its about the colors. Yas new collection of swimwear ” Black and White”, focuses on the use of colors that make you want to say “YUMMM!” Colors that bring out that twinkle to your eye, like when you see your favorite pair of stilettos through a window on 5th Ave, or when you devour your favorite piece of chocolate. Where you can’t have just one. Her designs makes you want to say “Yes! Give me one of everything!”
“During my studies in fashion design, I started to launch my own line of swimwear. I did four collections that captivated the attention of buyers and large chain stores purchasers. That’s when I decided to look into how to go about massively producing , distributing and selling my swimwear. My brand has been embraced the biggest fashion buyers in the industry. ” Yas said.
Before becoming one herself, Yas became inspired by the most prominent stylists in the world. Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Alexander McQueen and Christian Louboutin. Entertainers also played a big role in creating her eccentric designs. Who wouldn’t want to see these icons in some sexy swimwear? Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez with her new rumored arm-candy, William Levy. Uh! Yeah, that’s a topic for another day.
Thursday was Latin music’s biggest night however fashion at the 15th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards was seriously lacking. I notice a lot of lace and overly risqué gowns this year. Honestly this was not one of my favorite carpets to cover because I really wanted to see some classy evening dresses; maybe some tailor jumpsuits or some amazing couture gowns on my Latina sistas.
Curvy celebrities and industry experts love PLY because their collections offer quality timeless pieces that can be worn from day to night. PLY is located in New York and was founded by Lamarr and Pamela Nanton. They are a creative husband and wife team whose history of fit and fashion make them the perfect fashion union.
Spring 2015 Lookbook
Here is the sneak peak of PLY428. Still fresh, chic, relevant and priced just nice.
Shop at www.plyapparel.com.
I am totally hooked on daytime talk show The Real. Former cover model Adrienne Bailon is one of the lovely ladies on the show and she is doing such an awesome job. She is outspoken, charismatic, funny and rockin her latina curvas.
She is flawless on the show and totally representing young Latinas. Adrienne dances her way onto the stage every episode and she might be the “small” one but her precense packs a good punch.
Here are some of my faviote looks so far. Tune in and support. Check your local listing for air times.
Here are the must-have boots for fall 2014.
Combat / Lace-up
Over the Knee Boots