Coco and Breezy
Don’t let the identical-twin status fool you: Coco and Breezy are the faces of individuality. These 22-year-old fashion entrepreneurs (real names Corianna and Brianna Dotson) have decorated the likes of Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé with their signature shades in the three short years since they created their bold line, Coco && Breezy. But you won’t find any of their designs at your local mini-mall’s Sunglass Hut—only through local boutiques and their website, which dares its unisex audience to turn heads as much as they do.
Coco && Breezy began when its founding twins had just stepped out of their high school halls. Holding down two or three jobs at a time (always with each other) since their budding teenage years, they are a powerful unit. “It’s crazy: A lot of the places we worked didn’t allow family members to work together,” Breezy says. “You couldn’t be in the same classes in high school if you were cousins.” But somehow the twins escaped these rules. “We had the same hours at work and sat right next to each other in class every day. By 19 we were still together and working for ourselves.”
The day of their 19th birthday was when the line took off. “Coco’s always been into fashion, longer than I have. She introduced me to wanting to be a designer and motivated me to see designing as my main passion,” Breezy says. “We always knew we wanted to be business partners; we can separate business and family.” So that day they packed up their things in Minneapolis, sold their cars, and moved to the fashion metropolis of New York City. Ashanti’s stylist called just three days after they arrived, asking for a pair of glasses for her client’s red carpet event. The same week, Kelly Osborne donned a pair of their sunglasses. Coco && Breezy had officially taken the fashion world with its bold style, which, the twins say, is a result of their background in art.
“Dancing was our first passion, and we also paint,” Coco says. “We’re used to being onstage, so our stuff has a very theatrical style.”
“WITH OUR SHADES ON, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING. YOU’RE ON TOP OF THE WORLD.” – Coco
With the twins’ focus on the visual, it didn’t take long for tattoos to come into the picture. Coco and Breezy started getting tattooed wherever they went to mark their travels—old-school sailor style—and to tell the story of their success. “We do career days at schools and make sure we show our tattoos … I just want to show kids that they can have tattoos and start their own business,” Breezy says. “A lot of people think, ‘Oh, you have tattoos, you’ll never get a job.’ But I have as many tattoos as I want and I love where I work.”
In fact, their work made its way onto their skin in the form of several tattoos, one being a pair of studded glasses and red lips (chunky shades and shocking lip colors being two of their signature looks). And though glasses are their forte, the twins also sell clothing and accessories they affectionately call “wearable art.” They plan on following the Ralph Lauren model: “Ralph Lauren started with the tie, then branched off to make a more household name,” explains Breezy. “We’re branding ourselves with our sunglasses, then branching off and adding more categories.”
Their confidence belies the insecurity that inspired the line. The girls say walking around Minnesota with shaved and dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings is tough, and they began hand-making their sunglasses to keep their unique style while shielding themselves from critical eyes. One of their many tattoos—all of which are identical—is a girl with half a pair of sunglasses and one exposed eye. The symbolism is as loud as their style: They are growing more confident and passing their armor onto the rest of us. “We each have a twin and the two of us still get lonely at times,” Coco says. “I can only imagine what it’s like for those who don’t have a twin.