Coco & Breezy: The Martians
Different has become so ordinary over the years. Everyone is vying to be the most over the top.
The weirdest of the weirds.
The trensettiest of the trendsetters.
But very few people are true originals. That’s where identical twin designers Coco and Breezy, real names Corianna and Brianna Dotson, come in. If you’ve had your eye on any celebrity over the past 12 months, they’ve probably been sporting the designer shades that have made these two women household names. On the eve of their 21st birthday, Coco and Breezy are the up and coming designers that everyone wants a piece of. How do two “odd” girls from the Midwest manage to take over a big city all while admitting to hiding behind their own designer frames to cure their childlike shyness?
By simply being fabulous.
Born and raised in snow draped Minneapolis, Minnesota, a place not rich in fashion history, Coco and Breezy never really fit in. “Imagine us in Minnesota, going to suburban schools looking like this”, Breezy, the feistier of the two, says with a laugh, “people used to always talk about us”. The girls’ parents encouraged them to stay true to who they are and it was this confidence that allowed them to see the treasure in being different and ultimately showed them how to use it to make their dreams come true.
As they grew into their own as designers, the girls started to use fashion as a way to express their disdain with the constant gawking they received. “People used to always stare at us because of the way we dressed so we thought us wearing glasses kinda blocked out people”, Coco explains, “and at some point we just thought ‘why not give them something to ACTUALLY stare at?’ so we made the glasses”. The road to embarking on the business venture that has made them a force in the fashion world was not at first the golden path they now walk. They first had to make the leap from small town upstarts to big city businesswomen. “We took two weeks off from our retail job and went to New York, and people were asking ‘where can we get those glasses’, Coco says, “So we went back home and told our parents that we were moving. We sold our cars, quit our jobs and just did it, we had to.”
The move proved to be exactly what the girls needed because in just two weeks, superstar singer Ashanti was floating down the VH1 Hip Honors red carpet donning a pair of Coco and Breezy designer frames. From that night on, the girls have seen their frames worn by the biggest celebrities in the business and find they appear in everything from music videos to major magazine publications. And it is not just their ability to design a one of a kind product that puts them a step above the competition but it is their stellar and unique style that also attracts people to them.
Somehow they combine a feminine sexiness with a dark, grunge edge that only Grace Jones could execute with more ease. But unlike many a good girl gone bad, the secret to their one of a kind fashion sense isn’t found in a stylist’s handbook. “WE inspire our style. I thank our mom and dad everyday for letting us be different at a young age. They could have easily wanted us to dress conservative or have said ‘that’s too much’ but they always supported us”, Breezy says. It is this close-knit familial unit that keeps the sisters creating magic working solely with one another. Having only been separated from one another “enough times to count on one hand”, they’ve spent their whole lives learning, growing and experiencing with one another. And it is their love and admiration for one another that has made them ideal business partners.” I think Coco inspires me and I inspire her. Our creative energies just bounce back and forth and just go crazy. Right Coco?”
Go crazy indeed. In the minds of these trendsetters is a world all their own that translates into art through fashionable expression. On the official Coco and Breezy website, they introduce an idea that shows their creativity to be otherworldly. With a Twilight Zone male vocal introduction of how their journey to earth has changed fashion forever, we are thrown into planet Coco and Breezy and led into the feeling of art with no boundaries. “ When you wear C&B shades you’re unstoppable, you’re in our world. We created this planet that you’re only on when you have our shades on”, says Coco. This extra terrestrial experience adds to their incredible appeal; it’s who they are and it works. What they seem to have mastered, whether knowingly or otherwise, is complete inclusivity. Young, old, fashion forward or simply looking for a way to stand out: you can have it all at the hands of Coco and Breezy. The boundless spectrum of their minds pushes style to adapt to their courage and encourages buyers to live like they do. “ At the end of the day we’re all humans, we’re all living life so it’s like who cares”, Breezy says, “you can’t put a label on your style and you shouldn’t be able to if it’s real style”.
In this world, defining style is as hard as finding a piece of virgin skin on Lil Wayne’s body. But with every model turned actress turned clothing line owner, defining what it means to be a designer is even harder. “ This year it’s starting to be a trend every one wants to jump on the bandwagon and ‘be a designer’, the real passionate designers who love what they do, not in it for the money but in it for the art…they’re missing.” And with that love absent there seems to be a void in true authenticity and that above all things is what Coco and Breezy bring naturally to the table. “Our goal is to be innovative. Me and Coco create pieces that we’ve never seen before and that will come together…in our mind. How the human mind works it’s easy to look at something and unknowingly copy it”.
Coco and Breezy excite the masses of fashion lovers who yearn for something that will redirect the path of style. With their new collection, they hope to continue to bring life to the art of fashion by pushing the envelope further while simultaneously staying true to the reason they’ve become so popular. Wearable Art will feature new items in bright colors, a step away from their usual dark undertone, and debut a full accessory line that consumers will find helps them to steal the show. The girls insist that their line should be more than just an added topping onto an outfit but that their accessories should BE the outfit and the clothes should be the accessories. But they do have one more added piece of advice for staying ahead of the pack: “make sure your shoe game is on point”, Coco says as they both speak over one another in agreement.
As our conversation comes to an end, the girls open up a bit about what changes they’ve seen in their lives being entrepreneurs and with an uncharacteristic serious tone they take turns explaining the severity of taking a chance and urge other young women to do the same. “If you’re a real entrepreneur you don’t have time to hang out, you don’t have time to sleep 8 hours and you HAVE to know business. You sacrifice the young life, the party scene, shopping…because you’re spending time and money on your business”, Coco explains as Breezy chimes in, “if you have a dream get up and go. Don’t wait on anyone, even if you have to leave friends, it’s like, ‘bye’…go do what you want”. Coco and Breezy are living, mile long legged, blue dyed Mohawk proof that whatever you decide you want to fight for, can be your ticket to where you’ve always envisioned yourself.
The two odd girls who once walked the streets of Minneapolis too shy to speak, could have only become the fashion idols that they are by committing whole heartedly to walking to the beat of their own drum.
Needless to say…we’re all rocking with them.
Written By: Iman Milner
Photography By – Austin Green
Black and White Photo Photography By: High Def photos
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