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Julianny Casado (@ju_wels)

Coco & Breezy Are Illuminating Eye Health And Fierce Fashion In The Eyewear Industry

Coco and Breezy Eyewear is making a statement with their regal designs.

When it comes to the intersection of eye health and fashion, designers Corianna and Brianna Dotson, widely known as Coco and Breezy are leading the way.

As recent heat advisories put over 180 million people under watch, it's only right that many keep their eye health intact with stylish shades. But not all sunglasses are made equal. Sunglasses made to block UVA and UVB are the most important, especially for women.

Thinking of the perfect sunglasses to not only slay but protect your eyes can be overwhelming but Coco and Breezy Eyewear is making a statement with their regal designs. The fraternal twins kicked off their journey in eyewear in 2009 with D.I.Y. designs that caught the attention of Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, the late Prince and Ashanti.

"I wouldn't have thought that some of the biggest people would be wearing our shades today," Breezy tells VIBE during a moment of reflection at Samsung's Summer of Galaxy Event in New York. Both brands are celebrating ten years in the business, with the Galaxy phones crossing boundaries in tech and the ladies morphing their style from their Bushwick apartment to over 400 stores across America.

"We've finally seen the fruits of our labor and being here with Samsung right now and doing D.I.Y.–something we haven't done in years– just brings us back to how it first started," Breezy adds. "We were extremely D.I.Y. trying to figure it out and it got really popular. There came a time when the D.I.Y. frames became less popular so we had to educate ourselves on how to design real product. Now, our eyewear designs are vertically integrated so we do everything from ideation to managing the production."

Coco and Breezy are beyond hip to integration. As tools like Galaxy 10+ and the swanky Samsung Frame TV are on display at the Soho Grand Hotel, the ladies are hard at work making custom frames for guests. With a glue gun in one hand and their latest frames in the other, guests were able to experience a special moment in Coco and Breezy's journey.

Creating the shades and collaborating with the right people has always been poignant to the businesswomen. The billion-dollar eyewear industry is highly competitive, with a small number of black-owned brands in the premium eyewear space. Some include Peoples From Barbados, alongside Coco & Breezy that are solely owned by black women.

Breezy says they're mindful of the lack of representation in the industry, which is why they house their lenses from the black-owned optical shop, Seeing is Believing. "It's crazy because there's not a lot of people of color in the eyewear industry, so that's always been important to tie that together," she says. "We're about to raise capital to scale our company which is really exciting. There's only been 0.5 percent of women who have done it and a fraction of that have been women of color. We're really making history."

Eye health is another standard on their agenda. "We're very passionate about the health of eyes. I think a lot of times with the fashion magazines and through TV, there's a miseducated narrative," Breezy says. "You hear glasses are only for the summertime or glasses are only for prescription but our goal is to use our voice and our platform and our company to let people know it's actually important to check the health of your eyes."


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A 2017 study from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) notes that 26.9 million adult Americans have vision disabilities, including blindness. African-Americans also face visual impairment at a faster rate than Latinx and Asian communities with women at a higher risk of vision loss across the board. With their lens style changing from clear to colored, Coco and Breezy use blue light protected lenses to enhance the health of their consumers' eyes.

"All of our sunglasses really protect eyes from UV rays," Breezy says. "People don't understand the importance of eye care. You can end up blind if you keep playing around."

The Afro-Latinx twins have also learned about maintaining healthy business practices with their company. Delegation is a powerful tool they've mastered along with understanding what consumers want. "We grew up so boot-strappy but in order to grow you have to be able to build a team and actually know how to scale a company," Breezy says.

"We've asked these questions to ourselves: How do I create great company culture within our company and how can I be a great leader within our company as well? We're not just creating a product, we're creating a culture for individualists. We exude diversity, we exude individuality, we exude bringing the community together. The reason why we wanted to design eyewear was that we were feeling left out, feeling bullied and we found our love for sunglasses."


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As businesswomen always on the go, the Samsung 10 has been a great tool for Coco and Breezy to show off their latest products. "I love the selfie camera, Coco and I being sisters, we love taking photos together and they make it really wide for the selfie. It's gorgeous," Breezy says. "When you take a photo on the camera, it streamlines it to your profile and there's no pixelation. With the [Samsung] watch, I think that it is so stylish. I'm all about being fly but I'm so Type A when it comes to productivity. I don't want to wear something that's not functional so if I can check my emails and my texts and everything on the go, it's a jam."

As their empire grows (the twins are also trendsetting DJs and producers) Coco and Breezy only want to shoot for the stars. "Staying true to ourselves is the biggest which is a lesson we've been true to," Breezy explains. "Stepping back, and thinking about the bigger picture. As people of color, we grow up without a lot of resources and so the dreams I had back in the day I thought were so big and I accomplished those so quickly, I had to challenge myself and think, 'How can I think even bigger?' I think about what I haven't even seen and that's one of the biggest things."

Coco and Breezy's longevity is a given, especially with their focus into protecting users from blue light. Often hailed as an environmental treat in tech, blue light has been proven to drain the secretion of melatonin at a higher rate than normal light. With most adults wearing sunglasses to only prevent glare, the additional set of protection is a must for any consumer, including young people. By serving those neglected by the eyewear business with eye health and regal fashion, the duo is setting a blueprint for aspiring designers.

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Odell Beckham Jr. #13 of the Cleveland Browns warms up prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio.
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College Football Officials Pondering Policy Changes After Incident With Odell Beckham Jr.

A domino effect might be on the horizon after Odell Beckham Jr.'s encounter with LSU players and a security officer that led to arrest warrants and debates about possible NCAA violations.

Speaking to USA Today Sports Thursday (Jan 16) executive director Bill Hancock said officials from the College Football Playoff will investigate practices that allow non-players to engage with players on the sidelines during events such as the national semifinals and championship games.

“Being on the sidelines is a privilege,” Hancock told the outlet. “Along with any privilege comes responsibility, because the focus should be on the people playing and coaching in the game, rather than on any visitors. The CFP will be reviewing its policy for allowing guests onto the sidelines and into locker rooms at future games.”

While the LSU Tigers beat Clemson Monday to secure a spot in the national championship, all eyes were on the Cleveland Browns wide receiver for handing out money to players and slapping the buttocks of a Superdome security guard. The incident took place in the LSU locker room. It was initially reported that the money was fake but it was confirmed that the money was actually real.

Video of the incident went viral and just a few days later, New Orleans Police Department public affairs officer Juan Barnes confirmed that the security guard filed the complaint. An arrest warrant for simple battery was issued against Beckham Jr. on Thursday.

The NFL star and former LSU player possibly committed an NCAA violation "if it’s determined athletes with eligibility remaining received cash," USA Today Sports mentions. OBJ and his representatives are cooperating with authorities, the Browns said in a statement.

Statement regarding Odell Beckham Jr. incident:

— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 16, 2020

LSU will now investigate the incident to confirm if any NCAA violations were committed and if it will affect any of the players seen in the video.

Many have pointed exactly why the officer was in the locker room in the first place. As the players were celebrating their big win, the security guard allegedly threatened the players who were smoking cigars in the locker room. Stephen A. Smith reacted to the news and the NCAA possible violation as "bogus."

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Whitney Houston And Notorious B.I.G. Among 2020 Rock Hall of Fame Inductees

The 35th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will welcome a mixed bag of legends that include the late Whitney Houston and Notorious B.I.G. as well as Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Nine Inch Nails and psychedelic folk band T.Rex.

According to Variety, the ceremony will air live for the first time ever on May 2 via HBO. Viewers can expect a long list of tribute performances given three of the inductees (Houston, B.I.G. and T. Rex) are no longer with us. Biggie, born Christopher Wallace, is the seventh rapper to given the honor. He joins Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-D.M.C., N.W.A., the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and Tupac Shakur. The Brooklyn legend is also the first rapper to be inducted since Shakur in 2017.

Artists who were nominated but not inducted this year were Pat Benatar, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, Dave Matthews Band, MC5, Motorhead, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy. Khan has been nominated a total of six times–solo and with her group Rufus.

Last year’s inductees were Janet Jackson, the Cure, Def Leppard, Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, Roxy Music and the Zombies. It's currently unknown who will induct Houston or Biggie. In the past, fellow music titans have inducted artists. In 2007, Jay Z inducted Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Janelle Monae inducted Jackson in 2019 and Mary J. Blige inducted Solomon Burke in 2001 and Nina Simone in 2018.

Enjoy some of their best moments in music below.

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Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Lopez And Six Other Major Oscar 2020 Snubs

If you listened closely to Monday morning's announcements of the 92nd Annual Academy Awards, there was a certain snark to Issa Rae's reaction to the Best Director nods. With no women or people of color listed, Rae joked, "Congratulations to those men," reminding us of a long list of snubs who are hard to ignore.

Out of the 24 categories presented, just a few people of color were honored. One being Cynthia Ervio for her performance in Harriet and the team behind the critically acclaimed horror-dramedy hybrid, Parasite. Matthew Cherry earned his first Oscar nomination for the touching animated short, Hair Love, which won over the hearts of many.

Meanwhile, notable performances from Lupita Nyong'o to Eddie Murphy seemed to be totally forgotten. Playing two characters worlds apart was a feat Nyong'o accomplished with ease in the Jordan Peele-directed thriller, Us. Still, it wasn't enough to secure a nomination. Murphy's hilarious comeback as comedy legend Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name was a hit with fans and critics alike but hasn't received as much love as it should in the award season. While Jennifer Lopez's role in Hustlers earned her a Golden Globe nomination, she too was shut out from the Oscar's race.

Other snubs are a blend of overlooked performances in general. Take Alfre Woodard and Jamie Foxx for their respected performances in Clemency and Just Mercy. Both actors stepped up to the plate in these crime dramas. We don't know if the rich tradition of slave-driven films have daunted the Academy's vision of seeing black actors play anything outside of it, but the actors showcased their best abilities on the big screen. We received some clarity on Foxx's absent nomination as Variety reports that Warner Bros. studio released the film nationwide until after ballots closed last weekend. Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas' Queen and Slim also took a lot of creative risks that didn't work out in their favor in the awards sector.

But the shut outs weren't limited to just black actors. Cho Yeo-jeong provided a stellar performance in Parasite that went unnoticed for a Best Actress nomination.

As far as music goes, it seemed like Beyoncè would be a shoo-in for "Sprit," her song from The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack which she executively produced. Her flavor of R&B mixed with Afrobeat was daring and met some controversy due to the lack of variety on the project, but "Spirit" was a grandiose yet gentle song that stood out on the project.

And lastly, for the second year in a row, there were no women nominated in the best director category. Nominees included Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Bong Joon-ho, Sam Mendes and Todd Phillips. Keeping all of this in mind makes Rae's subtle shade burn a bit more don't you think?

See reactions to the snubs below.

I’ve been thinking for an hour about how there are more Scarlett Johansson nominations than people of color nominations in the acting category this year. Please make it make sense.

— Andrea González-Ramírez (@andreagonram) January 13, 2020

Lupita Nyong’oAwkwafinaSterling K. BrownAlfre WoodardCho Yeo-jeongEddie MurphySong Kang-hoKelvin Harrison, Jr.Zhao Shuzhen

Just a few of the magnificent performances from last year that the Academy has failed to recognize. #Oscars2020

— ahmad (@ephwinslow) January 13, 2020

to think that Halle Berry is the only black actress to win an Oscar for best actress in a leading role. No Angela Bassett. No Viola Davis. No Lupita Nyong’o. No Octavia Spencer

— c (@chuuzus) January 13, 2020

So they have Scarlett Johansson nominated for both best actress & supporting actress? while Lupita Nyong’o played two masterful characters in the same movie and she she was completely snubbed #OscarNoms

— c (@chuuzus) January 13, 2020

Nominate Jamie Foxx in Just Mercy for anything challenge

— Nicole Gallucci (@nicolemichele5) January 13, 2020

No women directors. All white supporting actress! Where is Awkwafina, JLo, Shuzhen Zhao? Where is Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Lupita, Beyoncé? Queen and Slim, Farewell? So predictable choices very disappointed . #OscarNoms #OscarsSoWhite

— Constantinos Isaias (@Isaiasthoughts) January 13, 2020

Scarlett Johansson got nominated for that high school drama class acting and Lupita didn’t for playing two characters masterfully... #OscarNoms

— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) January 13, 2020

The Academy dead ass looked at Lupita Nyong'o and said, "We prefer you as a slave."

— Robert Daniels (@812filmreviews) January 13, 2020

The Oscars said f*** y’all social rants.

We are nominating every white we got. Spicy white, old white, off white, eggshell, man white, some white women, and a POC to keep up appearances

The Oscars will never reward Black art fairly #OscarNoms #OscarsSoWhite

— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) January 13, 2020

to quote rihanna: "who is in charge of this account"

— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) January 13, 2020

i genuinely think not nominating j lo is rooted in racism and sexism about the kinds of performances the oscars deem worthy of praise doNOT @ me

— E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung) January 13, 2020

No shade. Didn't hear any serious Oscar buzz for Ervio coming into the announcements. Fact that there are no other black nominations makes this one look side-eye worthy, as if they were trying to avoid another #OscarSoWhite moment. Lupita, JLo got robbed. Eddie got robbed. SMH.

— Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29) January 13, 2020

I don't even have the capacity to think deeply about the #OscarNoms, I think it'd just make me angry? And it's too early.

— "they're very local" (@dariansymone) January 13, 2020

They really screwed up if I see people mad at the nominations for half a dozen totally different reasons.

— Craig Bro Dude (@CraigSJ) January 13, 2020

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