Story by Rachel Schwartzmann and Larissa May – Shop Coco + Breezy – Photos by Joanne Pio
When we think about personal style, we’ve found that the initial image that comes to mind is clothing.
For dynamic duo, Corianna and Brianna Dotson (affectionately known as Coco and Breezy) and their budding eyewear empire they might disagree otherwise; and it’s hard to argue with the rising design prodigies as they have rightfully staked their claim in the world of eyewear catering to a growing global clientele. “We always say that the way that our eyewear cultivates someone’s personal style that we say that our eyewear is the outfit,” They shared, “…and your clothing is the accessory because our glasses are the statement piece.”
In fact, making a statement has always been at the core of the Coco + Breezy brand. The twins say that their love of fashion and penchant for creativity began at a young age. As self-proclaimed creatives, the girls have always been fueled by discovery and have opened themselves up to the possibilities of what it truly means to create something dynamic. That’s not to say that they don’t consider what this will do for their brand. “We’re artists in general and we feel that eyewear is only our medium and so we actually, with us doing eyewear we made our hobby into our job so now we try to tap into other hobbies…” They explained.”...we just love being able to share our vision in different ways.” Their latest endeavor includes DJ-ing and music curation, elements they consider to be a natural extension of their brand.
Yet what spoke to us about Coco and Breezy’s story has been their consistency in remaining true to their values and themselves. We were even reaffirmed of these sentiments by our contributor Larissa May, who helped shape this story and an environment in which the girls could open up about who they are and what they want to accomplish. With their inimitable passion, confidence and bold style, today we are thrilled to share a few snapshots from our off-duty afternoon with the designers and a glimpse into their world. Read on to discover Coco and Breezy’s individual stories and find out what role New York has played in both their on and off-duty pursuits.
Hi [we’re] Coco and Breezy, and we are fraternal, (but look identical), twins.
We love life, we love being creative, and we love doing things that make us happy.
HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE COCO + BREEZY COMMUNITY?
We would characterize the Coco + Breezy community as ambitious fearless, very innovative and strategic. We take being strategic and being creative, if those two words made a baby, that’s the Coco + Breezy community.
WHAT ROLE HAS WORKING WITH A TWIN/SIBLING PLAYED IN HOW YOU ENGAGE WITH/COLLABORATE WITH YOUR COMMUNITY?
Coco: Since Breezy and I are twins and we’re used to like working together that that has definitely played a role with us working with our community because we know how to work with others. Sometimes when people are solo they only know how to work within themselves and they don’t really know how to work as a team but breezy and I are so used to working as a team together a we are able to collaborate with our ideas- and so that has definitely has helped us a lot with being willing to collaborate with other people and actually learning how to work with others.
SPEAKING MORE TO THIS, TALK TO US ABOUT THE SCAVENGER HUNT – WHAT IS THE INTENT AND HOW DO YOU THINK THIS ENHANCES THE Coco +Breezy BRAND?
Coco: So our scavenger hunt is something that we started about a month ago, oh no I’m sorry, we started the scavenger hunt a year ago and our birthday is in August so we thought, why not give people glasses in August. And so we wanted to just do something for people that support our brand. We feel like as a company as a brand we always love to feel like do things that interactive with our marketing so that people can really get a feel for us. Um we also team up with like stores so one We’re building relationships with stores and we’re also building relationships with customers for our brand. At the end of the scavenger hunt at the end of the month people actually get to go to lunch with Breezy and I. So the winners get to meet us and have lunch with us and break bread and we think that one thing about our brand something that we do is that with our marketing we make everything personable. And we want people to not only get to know our products but we want them to feel the lifestyle and have that emotional connection to what we do so it’s a lot more relatable.
HOW DOES LIVING IN BROOKLYN INFLUENCE YOUR BRAND AND WHAT LOCAL MAKERS/CREATIVES HAVE MADE AN IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE?
Coco and Breezy: Brooklyn has been a huge influence on our brand. We absolutely love Brooklyn. Um, I think that we get to see so much culture and see so many people from like the people that’s been in the neighborhood for a long time to the young generation of creative and artistic kids to just walking down the street and seeing a lot of artwork. Also, some of the influencers and tastemakers that have inspired us that we met like living in Brooklyn are one of our friends names is Ugo Mozie, who actually moved to Brooklyn together about six years ago. Um he is an amazing stylist now. Nick Onken, he is an amazing photographer and just like inspiring, tastemaker, and entrepreneur. Another friend of ours is a music artist, his name is Theophilus London. We met him years ago before we even moved to New York. He was definitely a big inspiration just showing like how he was a Brooklyn native and he’s actually from Brooklyn and just now he’s traveling the world. There was also a point in time where all of our best friends we lived in Bushwick which we still live in Bushwick but all our friends we all lived down the street from each other so we would like have 24 hour creative sessions all together.
“We always say that the way that our eyewear cultivates someone’s personal style. We say that our eyewear is the outfit and your clothing is the accessory because our glasses are the statement piece.”
HOW HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE IN DESIGN INFLUENCED SOME OF YOUR OFF-DUTY PASSIONS AND PURSUITS?
Coco and Breezy: Our design has inspired us to tap into a lot of different artistries. I mean we’re not only designers but we’re artists in general and we feel that eyewear is only our medium and so we actually, with us doing eyewear we made our hobby into our job so now we try to tap into other hobbies. So we’ve been tapping into DJ-ing slash curating music. We’ve been tapping into, I mean we’ve always painted and doing like really cool illustrations and we love just to share our point of view through different mediums of art so that multiple people can relate to it. And we’ve also tapped into directing, we’ve directed a few visuals and music videos and we just love being able to share our vision in different ways.
WHAT IS ONE QUESTION YOU WISH PEOPLE ASKED YOU MORE OFTEN?
Breezy: One question that I wish that people would ask Coco and I more often is what’s the difference between the two of us. I think people see us as twins and think that we’re the same person. But, I think that it would be awesome and actually add more value to our brand if people got to know who we were as individuals.
HOW DO YOU THINK CREATIVITY CONTRIBUTES TO SOME OF THE WORLD’S BIGGER CONVERSATIONS AND WHAT ROLE DO YOU THINK THE COCO + BREEZY BRAND IS PLAYING IN THIS SHIFT IN THINKING?
Coco: I think being creative, it really helps with inspiration and it helps us grow as human beings. Um, Breezy and I we feel though, we are adding an aspect with our brand with creativity is to show that there is there is another way that you can actually make sunglasses and we’re not going with what, what is like the norm. We’re pretty much creating our own path and I think that is very important cause we’re showing people how you can use your creativity to start something not really new but how you make it better.
Breezy: Also as well I think another role that we play is being dreamers. I think we’re making a shift within our generation to show people that if you have an idea that you can execute it and actually see it come to life and live it.
THE STYLE LINE WAS BUILT ON THE PREMISE OF DISCOVERY, EXPLORATION AND TRANSIT. WITH THIS IN MIND, IF WHAT IS YOUR “THE STYLE LINE” IN YOUR WARDROBE?
Coco: No matter where Breezy and I are going we always feel like we want to dress in comfort and also you know express our personal style. So we could be going to a gala, we could be going to the gym, and we could go to like an office and we’re still going to dress the same so we feel like anything, we love wearing black, we always love having red lipstick, but of course we have to keep our sunglasses on. It’s all about not being fashionable, it’s all about personal style for us.