Coco Irene Accessorizes | Bleader

Coco Irene Accessorizes



One of the wonders of fashion is the way it allows you to reinvent yourself, and the ladies of local line Coco Irene are doing just that. They've decided to cease producing women's clothes to focus on accessories—soft goods like fabric belts, cuffs, scarves, and shrugs that will doubtless evince the same kind of romantic, feminine aura as their clothing line did.

The line, which they launched in 2008 2007, earned media coverage from Daily Candy (the holy grail for many emerging designers), Lucky, and Good Morning America. But buzz didn't translate into beaucoup bucks, and both designer Veronica Sheaffer and operations director Taryn Parker continued to work full-time at non-fashion-related jobs. Sheaffer found it increasingly burdensome to produce the line according to buyers' seasonal schedules. Talking with other designers, she realized that many of those who were able to sustain their businesses did so by selling directly to consumers—at festivals and through Web sites like Etsy—and by sticking to accessories, which require a lot less outlay in fabric and materials.

Sheaffer and Parker plan to offer a mix of ready-made and one-of-a-kind pieces, for which Sheaffer plans on raiding her own stash of vintage fabrics, antique lace, buttons, and trinkets. They hope to debut the pieces sometime in November. Far from being disappointed, Sheaffer sounds excited and even a little relieved. "I feel like I'm more in my zone," she said. "I'm not as hesitant about pieces, and I'm really having fun. It doesn't feel like a job."