Coco and Breezy – the dynamic sister duo transforming the fashion world with their one-of-a-kind eyewear and even more unforgettable style savvy. Hailing from Minneapolis, the twins have carved their niche side by side, designing and innovating as one from the ground up. First spotting their pieces at MAGIC in August of 2012, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the bold hues and even bolder silhouettes. Coco && Breezy eyewear is not for the faint of heart – it’s for the maverick. It’s for the one who doesn’t mind turning heads and turning any ensemble into a power statement. Recently I had the pleasure of catching up with them both and chatting about fashion, eyewear and their love of leather.
How did your upbringing influence your personal style and love of fashion?
From a really young age we were exposed to fashion. Our parents were always stylish – my dad was really into platforms and bell-bottoms. Where we went to school, people were pretty basic with their style. We always wanted to dress different from everyone else and be more creative.
Why did you decide to move to New York?
We have always had a love for New York. We would go back and forth to visit all the time and just loved the city. It’s one of the fashion capitals and in order to move forward with our business, we had to make that move.
When you moved to the city, how did you formulate your unique style?
We’ve always had a unique look and done something more wild. As we’ve gotten older, we’ve gotten more sophisticated. When we were 18, we experimented a lot with our hair and now as young women we cut our hair off and are more comfortable walking around and being in the streets without it. It’s not so much about our age as it’s about us being secure and confident in who we are as women and designers.
What was it about eyewear that spoke to you?
We would wear our sunglasses all the time; it was our favorite thing to do. We would hide behind our sunglasses and they would make us feel like we were in another world. It started off as just embellishing glasses and then we decided to create our own collection and take our passion to the next level. With our new collection, we showcased our love for design. It’s beautiful and clean – but also unique.
What is your design process?
It starts with music first; we have to have a good vibe. From Betthoven to Old School R&B, we like to mix and match the genres and create the mood. We are always together, so sometimes I will start a design and give it to Coco and she will finish it. We work together to create the final product.
Is it ever a challenge to work together or a creative advantage?
It’s never a challenge; we are sisters, best friends and business partners. We are both very hands on and know how to separate business and personal, so it works well for us.
What inspired the new collection and how would you describe it?
The new collection, Omorose, is beautiful and was inspired by Egyptian culture and architectural lines. Since this is our first full collection, we wanted to play with the different shapes of frames. The color combinations, we were really excited about, because it’s a mix of bold and classic. When we get our inspiration, it can be from just walking outside and taking in everyday life. Sometimes it’s about taking that classic piece and making it Coco && Breezy.
Your recently shaved your heads, which is a huge statement. Talk a bit about what fashion and image mean to you.
I think fashion is the key to acceptance. It can help you express and define who you are. We work so much – nonstop – and as an entrepreneur you’re constantly re-inventing.
One day, we were thinking [about our image] – What can we do that’s new?
We were so obsessed with our hair and the idea of shaving our heads was something fresh for us … so, we decided to do it. After, we felt so strong and so free. It’s cliché to say, but so true.
What are some of the pieces in your wardrobe that you can’t do without?
Our leather jackets and black leather pants. We have so many pairs of black leather pants; we are obsessed and wear them everyday. One of the pairs, every time it rips, I will hand sew it and keep wearing it and refuse to throw it away. We love leather and all black – that’s our go-to outfit. Sometimes I try to experiment with color, but if I have too much on, I don’t feel cute. I like myself in all black, I feel chic. Maybe I’ll try some color this spring [laughs].
Where do you find all this leather and where are some of your fave places to shop in New York?
Thrift stores and vintage stores are where we go to find good leather. We don’t really go shopping though. One, we don’t really have time. And two, when you are financially backing your own business, you have to save everything. If you want your company to grow, you must have money for that. You have to save the money you make and reinvest it in better product for each collection. So yeah. Coco and I really don’t go shopping; all of our money goes to our business. I’d rather pay for better quality each collection than shop.
If you could be anywhere besides New York to live, work and be wholly inspired, where would it be?
We would go to Paris. We absolutely love love love Paris and are so inspired there. New York would is our home base, but if we were to go anywhere else, it would be there.
How would you describe Coco && Breezy sunnies to someone who has never seen them?
Our eyewear is an art piece and it definitely takes a personality to wear our sunglasses. Our designs make your feel like you are on top of the world – they’re definitely a bold item. You don’t have to be fashionable to wear our sunglasses; but, once you put them on, you’ll pop in it.
What do you have your sights on for the future?
We are really excited for the future. Our goal is to expand in our eyewear and continue to brand our sunglasses and broaden our collections – playing with shapes, colors and just having fun. Not only creating the fashionable piece but also very functional with attention to detail and quality.
Pics provided by Coco && Breezy