By Denis Langlois
Twin sisters Corianna “Coco” and Brianna “Breezy” Dotson began creating unique eyewear in their bedroom in Minnesota just over a decade ago.
In those early days, they would glue embellishments on pairs of frames they liked.
They then taught themselves about the design, manufacturing and distribution aspects of the eyewear business.
In 2009, at age 19, the Dotsons launched the eyewear brand Coco and Breezy in New York City.
With the help of social media, the brand’s frames have caught the eye of major celebrities and important players in the fashion and eyewear industries.
Coco and Breezy frames have been featured in major fashion magazines, like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan, and have been worn by celebrities like Lady Gaga, Prince, Beyoncé and Rihanna. The sisters have also collaborated with Hershey to launch Twizzlers and Jolly Rancher eyewear lines.
In 2016, Coco and Breezy teamed up with Transitions Optical to serve as Transitions ambassadors with a focus on marketing the photochromic lenses to younger generations.
Coco and Breezy were special guests at Transitions Academy this year and led two workshops. It was there that Optical Prism sat down with the sisters to discuss their brand, their career and Transitions lenses.
Q: How would you describe your eyewear brand?
Coco and Breezy: I would describe our eyewear brand as definitely trendsetters. We love to take classic shapes and create a lot of geometric and angular frames. We’re very modern but still keep it vintage. It’s on-style, in-style products. So it’s not trendy where it’s a fad but it’s trendy as in we make statement-piece glasses that are classic and have longevity.
Q: What has been the highlight of your career in eyewear so far?
Coco and Breezy: I think the highlight of our career has been our Transitions partnership. Honestly. I feel that when we first entered into the eyewear industry, we were really known and we were really positioned as being in the fashion industry. But our goal was to be more positioned to be in the optical, the real eyewear industry.
As eyewear designers, we are one of the youngest eyewear designers in the industry and so we think it’s important to be the voice for millennials. And it was an honour to partner with Transitions last year for 2016 as brand ambassadors and that really introduced us to the real eyewear industry and we introduced Transitions to the millennial market.
Q: What does being a Transitions ambassador entail?
Coco and Breezy: We personally just love Transitions, so it was very easy for us to create content on social and really share and show consumers how do you wear your product and how do you pair frames with lenses. And that’s always a problem. So even with eyecare professionals, it’s important that they show different styles of glasses and frames and how it can be paired with lenses as well. If it’s the colour, if it’s the shape, if they’re pairing a graphite green lens with a red transparent frame, show the different, cool options to the patients.
I feel too that a lot of people, they wouldn’t normally have paired our type of frames with Transitions and then when Coco and I stepped in and had that partnership, we showed that you can pair different types of frames with Transitions.
Q: Why is Transitions a brand you believe in so much?
Coco and Breezy: We’re so passionate about Transitions. Right now, as millennials, we love tech; tech-savvy technology. So the fact that young people and older people nowadays, with technology changing, we’re always on the go, we’re always moving. And I know for me, I used to constantly lose my glasses when I used to switch from my clear optical frames to my suns but now that I have my Transitions, it’s easy just to wear my same frames and still be stylish but be able to walk outside and still have my same style.
Q: What do you tell millennials about Transitions?
Coco and Breezy: Honestly, it’s not that we don’t tell them things, but we show them. I think it’s important to show them how to rock the product and how to use the product through social media. It’s great that sometimes we’ll go on our Instagram stories and we’ll show a video of us inside wearing the frames and then we go outside and show them the process of how it transitions. And I think that eyecare professionals, they can actually use that. Because customers, when they come inside of a store or they’re coming to get their eyes checked to buy new frames and lenses, they don’t know how it works.
For more information visit cocoandbreezy.com