DESIGNER OF THE DAY

Undra Duncan

Cousin & Co. Inc

Cousin & Co Inc. is a contemporary fashion handbag company founded by cousins and best friends Undra Duncan and Shekima François. The brand is defined as Brooklyn’s new modern sophistication – a classic twist to Brooklyn’s trendsetting style. The aesthetic is founded on great quality leather, hardware, functional details, trending colors and textures – all at an affordable price.
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Cousin & Co Inc. is a contemporary fashion handbag company founded by cousins and best friends Undra Duncan and Shekima François. The brand is defined as Brooklyn’s new modern sophistication – a classic twist to Brooklyn’s trendsetting style. The aesthetic is founded on great quality leather, hardware, functional details, trending colors and textures – all at an affordable price.

Cousin & Co Inc. launched in 2008 with the “C4 Collection” – an assortment of four handbags every woman must have: a clutch, work tote, handbag and a travel weekender. The brand provides affordable luxury to women with lives that require more than just the latest trends in a handbag. Each bag was made with the high quality leather and adornments; and made in NYC. The debut production sold out, and the first handbag designed, The Gates, continues to be the brand’s best seller.

Shekima and Undra grew up in a close-knit family with fashionable women—Shekima’s mother was a celebrated hair stylist and fashionista in the Miami area.While Undra’s mother was a New York based fashion model in the 1970s. As young women creativity was encouraged. Both cousins, Shekima and Undra were emerged in the arts, music, dance and fashion their whole lives. While in college, the ladies started making handbags by hand to gift to friends and family. As the demand for their wares grew they knew a business opportunity was at hand. After moving back to NYC, the women realized fashion was more than just a hobby; it was their passion— and a viable business opportunity.

"We are inspired by the life styles of the multi faceted women. What she wears to work, on the weekends, on vacation and even on a date. How this women constructs an outfit and how important it is for her handbag to relay the message she is trying to send with each outfit. We are also inspired by beautiful places in the world. For example, our Spring 2011 collection was inspired by the colors and culture of Marmaris, Turkey."

"The design process usually starts with colors that just come to us. A bright yellow on a bus, the vibrant pinks of a rose, etc. We then build a color palette from there by asking ourselves what neutrals or accent colors will work well. For many years we were not able to subscribe to color and trend services we went mainly on intuition. But the collections always come out beautiful."

We are passionate about the future. We are currently looking for further retail opportunities. We will be doing shows during fashion week and have a great collection for Holiday coming as well as a stock and sample sale coming soon.

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