East End creatives collaborate over a shared family history.
After interning for fellow East Ender Rosie Assoulin and graduating from New York University Stern School of Business, Taylor Simmons looked to her childhood for her first foray into a clothing collection. While ’90s nostalgia is trending in fashion, Simmons took inspiration from her formative years on an island far from Long Island—Antigua. Growing up, her family always supported a local Antiguan label called Coco Shop (cocoshopwi.com). Think of it as the Lilly Pulitzer of the Caribbean; the tropical brand of printed cottons was founded in 1949 as a crafts table in the island’s capital of St. John’s and evolved into an insider resortwear brand for jet-setters. But in 2017, Coco Shop, as it was always known for 60 years, closed shop. Passionate about its authenticity, Simmons bought the brand, revived it and is now taking it island-hopping. Serendipitously, she connected with East End creatives Tanya and Temidra Willocks over a shared tie to Antigua. “We immediately bonded because their grandmother had actually sewn some of the original Coco Shop pieces,” says Simmons, who is popping up this month with Coco Shop at the sisters’ new store, Hidden Gem (more on that in the coming pages). “The fact that we are collaborating in Southampton this summer shows how small our world is.”
Photography by: coco shop/ by Either