Taylor Simmons is the CEO and creative director of Coco Shop, a modern relaunch of the beloved Antiguan clothing company whose rich history traces back to mid century island fashion. The original Coco Shop was founded in 1949 by siblings Pat Starr and Amos Morrill. This family brand was a steadfast and beloved fixture of the Antiguan community throughout its sixty-year tenure. Taylor’s family was close friends with the original owners, and she grew up surrounded by their hand-drawn textiles and expertly sewn garments. In 2019, Taylor relaunched Coco Shop with the goal of preserving the brand’s rich history while incorporating an updated stylistic vision.
When I think of Coco Shop, my mind immediately goes to the world of Slim Aarons’ photographs of glamorous socialites and 1960s Hollywood fashion. Coco Shop designs are epitomized by timeless silhouettes and exceptional quality. Taylor’s relaunch of Coco Shop builds upon the original brand’s foundation of imaginative prints on cotton garments. Her creative vision is influenced not only by her childhood appreciation for colorful Antiguan patterns, but the vintage aesthetic cherished by her mother and grandmother. Taylor’s creative process involves looking back through old photographs of her grandmother from the 50s and 60s, training her designer eye toward the distinctive lines and shapes of vintage clothing.
We spoke about the heritage of Coco Shop, the inspirations behind Taylor’s design aesthetic, and the rewarding struggle of relaunching a historic business. Throughout our conversation, we discovered many commonalities between our individual approaches toward modernizing heritage brands. As we discussed our shared experience of striking a balance between old and new, I was reminded of a favorite Sister Parish quote: “Innovation is often the ability to reach into the past and bring back what is good, what is beautiful, what is useful, what is lasting.” Taylor’s updated Coco Shop designs are deeply evocative of vintage glamour, and her design ethos perfectly aligns with our vision at Sister Parish Design: breathing new life into the past. To learn more about Taylor Simmons’ Coco Shop and hear our full conversation, click here!