Coco (left) and Breezy at their Vision Expo East booth
Twin designers Corianna and Brianna Dotson, who are known to the fashion and music worlds respectively as Coco and Breezy, returned to eyewear/eyecare trade show Vision Expo East for the third time last week, this time bringing expanded offerings in their optical collection.
“We launched it here last year,” said Breezy (Brianna). “Now we’ve expanded, and have also introduced new sunglasses.”
The identical twins founded Coco and Breezy in 2009, then embellishing already-made frames. They quickly scored big in the entertainment and fashion worlds, most notably for their famous “Third-Eye” sunglasses designed expressly for Prince, though their eyewear has also been sported by the likes of Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Kelly Osbourne and Nicki Minaj.
They’ve also collaborated with Hershey’s, Ciroc and SIX:02, and have been featured in publications including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
They introduced their original sunglasses five years ago and added the optical line two years ago.
“Every pair has unique inspiration and meaning,” said Breezy. “Every piece is detail-oriented.”
She took off the shades she was wearing and held up the right temple tip to show the “signature Coco and Breezy curve” at the end of it, also the nose pads.
“We use interesting colors and materials—metal and rubber nose pads,” Breezy noted. “We love mixing materials.”
She pointed to the browline on her glasses and said it was metal with a tortoise heat transfer, then directed attention to the “colored metals and cool custom patterns” on metal frames—particularly on the small temple extension connecting to the front of the frame—as well as the “cool temple cut-outs.”
“We like simplicity—but with an edge,” said Breezy.
The sisters grew up in Minnesota, where their mother gave them the nicknames they go by now. Even their grandmother calls them Coco and Breezy.
They first came to eyewear from being bullied as youngsters and wearing sunglasses to avoid any altercation stemming from eye contact.
“We’re go-getters and always had the mindset to be entrepreneurs,” said Breezy, who moved to New York with Coco 10 years ago after they finished high school. After establishing their eyewear brand, they expanded into music four years ago.
“We grew up being hip-hop dancers,” said Breezy, and their dancing led to the Prince connection when he saw them on one of their YouTube videos and enlisted them to dance on stage with him. Four years ago, they added the role of house/electronic/dance music DJs to their resume, and more recently have produced their own music as well.
“We love directing a crowd and bringing communities together,” said DJ Breezy, who now DJs all over the world with her sister. “Music is a universal language and brings people together.”
Coco and Breezy actually installed a DJ setup at their Vision Expo booth, and while their repertoire was tailored to the corporate environment, it definitely rocked.
“We like to play [music by the likes of] Zak Leever and DJ Sliink,” said Breezy, and Sliink, by the way, has made a recently released remix of Coco and Breezy’s debut single “Differences.”
The twins credit their successful output to “being organized and having a really good team—and being great delegators.”
“As CEOs, we allow our amazing, talented team to execute,” said Coco. And as for the company’s eyewear, it should be noted that all models are unisex.
“We don’t put gender on our product,” said Coco. “We design for personality and feel everyone should have the experience and choice.”
Coco and Breezy's first single "Difference"