We had the good fortune of connecting with Cocoe Voci and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cocoe, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?

I knew I could do it “better!”

I had just finished school and got a job in textiles because of my love of fabrics and fashion…I thought it was going to be much more glamorous than it was!

I left to take a sales job at a Beverly Hills bridal salon because I had always loved the “gown”, the symbolism of this dress and how much this garment is treasured and sometimes passed down to future generations.
Throw away fashion never sat well with me. Even as a little girl, I would repurpose vintage clothes by redesigning them for myself so the idea of being around beautifully made timeless wedding gowns was alluring.

Soon, I decided to start my own vision of an L.A. bridal salon on Melrose Ave. with a focus on custom design.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

I pour myself into each clients project with passion and professionalism. I have an understanding of how unique each of my brides and other clients are and make it a point to be clear of their needs and vision. Having worked with countless women, I understand the female figure and am sensitive to what women love or dislike about their own bodies. No two figures are the same so no two dresses should be the same. I make it my mission to highlight what my clients love about themselves and be discrete about what they may not.

To create these one-of-a-kind designs, I believe you must start with the most beautiful and fine textiles. I have an amazing archive of gorgeous, authentic French laces. I also work with the best fabric mills in the world. I personally search for the perfect fabrics to bring each design to life.

In addition to the foundation textiles, I have the capability to create amazing ornamentation on the gowns with my highly skilled team of artisans. Various types of embroideries, hand-beading, cloth flowers and many more statement accents can be created.

At the moment, I am really excited about my new showroom and atelier, 185 North!
It is located at 185 N Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills 90211. I spent the entire past year renovating the space from top to bottom and controlled every step of the project, much as I do when making a gown!

The space is open, fresh and filled with natural light…the perfect place to work with my clients. Here I can offer private appointments with individualized attention. The custom design process is truly bespoke in nature beginning with the designer/client collaboration, the dress sketches and materials selection, the muslin pattern (mock-dress) to making the gown in the selected fabrics and the final hand finishing touches.

In addition, I have a made-to-measure collection of my designs for those who prefer to have a dress made based on an existing design, Made-to-measure differs from custom because the gown is ordered for you based on a few figure measurements and no muslin is made…you do alterations after the dress is completed to fine tune to the individual figure.

I have arrived to this point in my profession by offering and delivering excellent work. It has definitely not been easy but it has always been important for me not to compromise on quality and my clients experience. Patience is also been very important. Weddings are a very emotional time for most people and sometimes there are unrealistic expectations. Understanding and knowing how to work with clients during this time in their life is crucial.

I am so excited that California has been opening up after a very difficult pandemic year! We are beyond ready to celebrate with those we love and are thankful for which makes the perfect time to have a special gown made! I am open by appointment at 185 North and ready to meet new brides who want a special experience and bespoke dress!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have always loved downtown L.A. so our first stop would be the Los Angeles Arts District! It is one of the most creative and vibrant spots in the city ATM. We would start the day at Pie Hole on Traction Ave…who says you can’t have pie for breakfast. I love the vegan blueberry pie but if you want something a little more savory, the spinach feta quiche or the empanadas are great and the coffee delicious.
Next, we would head to the Dover Street Market on Imperial St. which is filled with the most amazing fashion…truly fashion as art! The great thing about the area is that it is walkable so no need to drive to each spot. Then we would head over to the Hauser & Wirth Gallery on 3rd Street which always has interesting art to enjoy plus the space is very unique, it was a former flour mill. We would end the day with dinner at Manuela which is located in the gallery. The ambiance is very cool, you are surrounded by art, and the food is good too.

Another MUST visit is Beverly Hills…especially since 185 North is located there;)
First stop is Blue Bottle Coffee on Robertson for their tasty coffee and avocado toast. From there, we take a walk on the boulevard to do a little shopping at BonChic to explore the handpicked couture and vintage treasures. Then Chanel on Robertson for the experience, the boutique is so chic with it’s white decor and full glass entrance, also less chaotic than their other location in Beverly Hills. We may have a light lunch at the iconic Ivy…a glass of champagne, salad and nibble on fried calamari. Next, we head to 185 North so that I may show my BFF my latest gowns, showroom and design room. We would end our day at Soulmate for dinner. This Spanish Mediterranean restaurant has such cool vibes plus the food and cocktails are delicious!

A Hollywood sign hike is our next adventure. It is great exercise, especially after all the lunch and dinner spots we are visiting. A dose of nature in the city of Los Angeles. The views are beautiful and it is great to get a different perspective of the city. After freshening up, we would go to Larchmont Village which is one of my favorite streets in the city. Feeling fit, we would grab a vegan lunch at Cafe Gratitude, including a delish key lime pie! Larchmont is super charming and walkable so we would stroll down the boulevard to visit the shops, pop into Chevalier’s Books to grab a good read and have an afternoon coffee at Go Get Em Tiger.

Our next adventure would be Malibu starting with some sun bathing at Point Dume State Beach. It feels very private and is a very dramatic piece of our California coastline, I have even done styled bridal fashion shoots here. Next, we would go to the Malibu Farm Restaurant for a late lunch/early dinner. I love the sea bass sandwich with artichoke aioli and they make killer cocktails!

Our last stop would be a return to Downtown LA, but this time the very center. We would explore the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Although concerts aren’t scheduled until October, it is such a beautiful piece of architecture with some secret gardens, perfect for photo ops. We would then go to The Broad museum, another stunning piece of architecture with an amazing art collection (reservations are required so planning in advance is key). Next, lunch at French bistro Perch. It has been around for a few years and is located atop the Pershing Square Building which has some of the best unobstructed views of the city. We would end the night at the Hollywood Bowl (FYI, Kool & the Gang will be performing on the 4th of July along with a Fireworks show).

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

I’ve been blessed to work with many great people throughout my career, but there are two especially amazing people in my life who gave me unconditional love, support and encouragement on my bridal business journey…my mother, Martha Laredo and my husband, Steven Voci.

My moms support started when she new I loved making clothes. She bought me my first sewing machine, overlock and patterns. She would spend countless hours in fabric stores with me when she really did not want to be there yet she never showed it. When I decided to open a retail boutique, she became my financial investor and we partnered for many years. She believed in me and let me run with complete creative freedom. She continues to be super supportive of my work and passion.

I met my husband when I was preparing to launch my first national bridal line. Our partnership created the Cocoe Voci brand name! He was great at running our business and working with our retail partner Neiman Marcus. He also coordinated multiple moves of our design room over the years…not an easy feat because the making of bridal gowns takes up so much space and there are so many elements!

He has been a rock of support throughout the various iterations of my business…retail, custom design, wholesale, national and international. Steven understands the uniqueness and complexity of my product and service offering, thus calling me “the master of complications.”

Website: https://cocoevoci.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cocoevocidesign/ and https://www.instagram.com/viola.bride/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cocoe-voci-5b9100153/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CocoeVoci and https://www.facebook.com/brideviola

Image Credits
Vaughn Voci Jenny Rolapp Felicia Lasala

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