Dressing the Mannequins

We talk to OSKA visual merchandiser Taina Bowden about her job and what it's like to work for OSKA

Monday, June 24, 2013 | 2:19 pm

Ever pass by a window display and wonder who decides what the mannequins wear?

Taina Bowden, visual merchandiser for OSKA, tells us what it’s like to dress mannequins and her love for OSKA.

“I dress the mannequins, I merchandise the store, meaning I decide what color goes with what color.We have guidelines from Germany on how they see the colors, but I’m pretty much open to do whatever I want,” says Bowden.

Established in 1997, OSKA is a German clothing label whose design philosophy is not to disguise, but to bring out each individuals personality. Though its clothes are inspired by trends, it also can be mixed and matched to give customers the freedom to create their own look.

“What’s big with OSKA is that we do lots of layers, we use fun colors. The merchandise itself is so different and architectural, that it makes my job wonderful and easy,” adds Bowden.

Talking about the trends for each season, Bowden tells us that “In the summer time, the colors are always vivid and fun to work with. Then going towards winter, it’s usually more earthy tones.”

But unlike other clothing lines where customers who buy seasonal collection designs and tend to use it only for that particular season, with OSKA, Bowden says that the way the collection is designed “is that whatever color she uses now in summer time or if somebody buys one thing or an outfit in summer time, in the winter collection there is a color that will work with the outfit she bought in summer time.”

Bowden calls this “multi-seasonal,” where if a customer buys a purple blouse now, she will no doubt find something to use it with later in the winter collection.

As a visual merchandiser, most of OSKA’s clothes always go through her. As such, Bowden has a few favorites pieces.

“OSKA is known for their very unique pants and that’s their big item that we sell all day long because it’s unique and the way they (OSKA designers) designs them, the pleats are folded very nicely and it’s slenderizing, it makes everyone look very stylish,” says Bowden.

Then there are OSKA’s white shirts, which Bowden says, “always carry one form. There will be always a big white shirt that just makes everything look very crisp and chic.”

Scarves are also a favorite of Bowden, which comes in many colors and sizes, that she always puts one in the window. Bowden says that there are even “scarves you can make an outfit with.”

When asked what it is about OSKA that she loves, Bowden says it’s because “the clothing is very comfortable. It’s real clothing for real women.”

Bowden also adds that she wears OSKA clothes for her 14-hour flights because “it’s nice to have something stylish and that is comfortable.”

You can learn more about OSKA, it’s collections, and it’s design philosophy at:

Oska Pasadena, 13 Douglas Alley, Pasadena, (626) 432-1729 or visit www.oska-pasadena.com.

Oska Beverly Hills, 9693 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, (310) 271 2806 or visit www.oska-beverlyhills.com

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