Many designers have the ideal “American dream” of moving to New York City and making it big in the fashion world. For Coco & Breezy, that dream is their reality. Although designing started as a simple hobby, the identical twin accessory designers knew from a very young age that they wanted to be entrepreneurs.
“We were those kids that were very creative, artistic and had big imaginations,” says Coco. After a risky move to New York from Minnesota (and lots of hard work), Coco and Breezy have gone on to create their own path in the fashion industry with their eccentric eyewear. Pop superstars from Rihanna to Lady Gaga have been seen rocking a set. And their latest Omorose collection is already making a buzz for fall, ranging from $150 to $275, and sold in select retailers around the globe.
While the twin designers have no plans of slowing down anytime soon, they did find space in their busy schedules to talk with EBONY.com about their future expansion plans and their new Spring 2014 collection on deck.
EBONY: How long have you been designing, and how did you get started?
Coco: Oh man… it’s hard to know how long we have been designing. We were those kids that were very creative, artistic and had big imaginations. Our parents encouraged us to be artist[ic] and would buy us all the sketchbooks, art supplies, sewing machine and all of the above.
Breezy: Now if you asked when did we make it a business, it was in 2009. Even though we were designing as a hobby, we always had a mindset that we wanted to become businesswomen and entrepreneurs.
EBONY: What’s a typical Coco and Breezy designing session like?
Coco: Our design sessions are jam out sessions! We blast music and vibe out. It’s one of my most favorite things to do in life. There is a lot that goes into the session.
Breezy: We gather all of our inspiration and create mood boards. We love to paint and sketch as well; it stimulates our minds. When we are sketching, we feel like we are in our own planet, and ideas are constantly coming to us. The sketch is a process, because we bring our sketchpad everywhere we go in case we have an idea. When we are in a dedicated design session, it’s time to edit out the designs and see if we have to add more. We also create our own prototypes out of clay, so that we can get the full effect and correct measurements for the specs. During our sessions, a lot of our friends stop by and join. It’s a cool vibe to have all the creative energies in one room.
EBONY: What and who are some of your biggest inspirations?
C&B: Our parents are our biggest inspirations. They really pushed us to be ourselves. They always told us to go for our goals and dream big. We are blessed to have them as parents. A lot of parents don’t allow their kids to go for their dreams if it’s in the arts and fashion field.
Also, life has inspired us. Everyday is something new and a new inspiration. We love architectural shapes and buildings, and we have used that inspiration in the sharp lines and shapes in our eyewear designs.
EBONY: Who is the customer you design for?
C&B: We design for that person that doesn’t mind stepping outside the box with eyewear. Our customer doesn’t have to be fashionable, because we always say, “Our eyewear is the outfit and the outfit is the accessory.”
EBONY: What is your favorite pair of sunglasses from your most recent collection, Omorose?
C: Tortoise “Thema” is my favorite.
B: Black “Atsu” would have to be mine!
*Photo credit: JD Barnes