Designer Spotlight – Coco & Breezy
Here is an extended interview from our feature with Coco & Breezy for our Minnesota Style in a New York Fashion project. It’s been a great year for the talented duo. Even since this interview took place last month, Coco & Breezy have made an appearance in Vogue Italia, and their sunglasses have been featured in Lady Gaga’s latest video, Marry the Night. There’s no stopping them now.
JM: So what have you been up to since your Fashion Week show?
Breezy: Right now we just launched our SS2012 collection, Rainy Days. It’s cool because when we first started our sunglasses, it was studded frames and hand-crafted glasses. Our products are manufactured now. Rainy Days is pretty much inspired by our story. We always felt that we were different. Umbrellas shield people from rain and our sunglasses shield us from people. We feel very comfortable when we wear our shades. It’s also crazy that it’s all in progression, because all our stuff was handcrafted, and now we have everything made official with our logo and name brand.
Coco: We’re pretty excited because now we’re branching out to a whole new market. We’re working on finding a new customer. From our studded sunglasses on to the glasses we have now is another pedestal. Right now we are working on developing our brand, thinking of what’s next for us.
JM: What excites you the most about the work that you do?
Coco: What excites us the most, I think, is being in New York.
Breezy: Also, seeing our production on the streets.
Coco: Yeah, being in Starbucks and seeing a girl walk in wearing our glasses or somebody walking down the street, someone that doesn’t know us, walking right past us with our product on makes us feel so amazing! Also, having the chance to be on set with [Beyonce]. We’re in the new Beyonce video, and it’s so unreal, especially coming from Minnesota where you hardly see celebrities. In New York it’s normal. It’s New York! Being next to the most powerful woman in music right now and spending time working with her on set for like 13 hours, every minute we’re like, “Are we really here?” It’s crazy!
JM: At MPLSTYLE, we like that a lot of your products look really good on both men and women. I especially love the accessories. Do you want to talk a little about that?
Coco: When we create a product, we don’t create it for a certain gender. It’s for the person with the personality to wear it. A piece doesn’t care if it’s for a female or male, it’s for the person that will wear it. Somebody might choose our Gold Liners, a style that’s more [tame] as opposed to our Starboat, which have a crazier design to it, so if you have the confidence to wear that piece, then you’ll do it. A lot of people will start out with a calm pair, and they’ll get more comfortable, and they’ll progress to a pair with a crazier effect.
JM: Do you see yourselves ever expanding to more clothing?
Coco: Yes we do. When we’re in our creative process, we don’t really find inspiration in other designers’ collections but in their journey. Ralph Lauren is one of the designers who we love how he started and branded himself. He started with ties, branded his name, and branched off to clothing, shoes, everything, so that’s kind of what we’re doing. We’re finding our niche in eyewear and accessories, and once people are familiar with our brand, then we can expand to other categories. Once they’re familiar, we’ll branch off to clothing, shoes, fragrance, etc.
JM: The kids’ stuff is great, too.
C&B: Yeah, we love it.
JM: What are you really inspired by right now?
Breezy: We’re really inspired by music actually. When we’re designing, if a bad song comes on, I feel like I can’t think. We like blasting our music when working and designing. It’s crazy because we’ll go from orchestral music to dub-step to Drake. We never listen to one genre. We’ll listen to different music to change our mood while we’re designing.
Coco: Also, recently we were in Paris, and we’ve been there twice in the last couple of months. Being in a different atmosphere changes your direction and changes the way you think. The way the human mind works, if you’re not exposed to something, you’ll never know, so being in a whole new environment opens your mind and causes you to expand your creativity level to something you didn’t know you had. Flying and being on a plane is also inspirational.
Breezy: I design my tail off on the plane.
Coco: We feel like we live on our own planet, and the plane is our spaceship going to the next city, so when we’re on the plane is when we create the story line for our next collection. We’ve started all our story lines on a plane.
JM: The music industry has been really good to you. Are you ever going to release a single? You can dance and you’ve got the look.
Breezy: It might be kind of fun one day. Who knows? We can’t say no, but we can tell you it’s not in our plans right now, but I don’t want to say no because what if it does happen?
Coco: We have tons of friends in the music industry; it’s so crazy that people we wouldn’t think know us do! We met Drake and everyone who knows us knows we listen to Drake. Last week we went to SNL because our friend Kenan Thompson is in the cast. We were invited because Drake was performing. They have a private dinner after the show, and we got to attend with Kenan, his fiancée, and a couple of her friends. They’re going around the table and introducing everyone, and when it came to us, Drake said, “I know who they are!” and I was like, “No, you don’t!” and he came up to us and was like, “Yeah, my friend who lives in Toronto loves your brand!”
You can shop Coco & Breezy’s latest collection as well as get updates on their growing brand on their website. Also be sure to like MPLSTYLE on facebook for more updates and to see coverage of Coco & Breezy’s NYFW show.