Street Style


House of Coco were recently lucky enough to be invited down to Breddos Tacos’ one weekend only collaborations with LA’s taco truck legends Guerrilla Tacos. We grabbed five minutes with Wes Avila, the man behind the best sweet potato taco we’ve ever had. (EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’d seen the movie ‘Chef’, this is it IRL!)

HOC: We’re increasingly seeing food becoming a very important component for choosing a holiday destination. We know we do it all the time! Do you see this a lot in L.A.?

WA: Yes very much. Even on my own trips, a huge influence is if the destination is known for a great food scene. L.A. continues to offer one of the best and most diverse culinary scenes in the world which appeals to young travellers. From the relaxed offering at our food trucks to innovative fine dining by the world leading chefs, to chef-driven, fast-casual cuisine, Los Angeles has it all.

HOC: As this is your first time in London we know you’ve been checking out the food scene. What are the differences between the L.A./London food scenes?

WA: The London food scene seemed more relaxed – the food was fantastic and service was great. A lot of times in L.A. people are clamouring to find the new hot thing and I didn’t feel that was the case in London.

HOC: This collab seems made in heaven, how did it come about?

WA: I met Nud Dudhia and Chris Whitney from Breddos Tacos on a trip to Tijuana, Baja California. On that same group of people was Ray Garcia of Broken Spanish, Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria, Eddie Ruiz of Corazon Y Miel and myself. It was arranged by Bill Esparza so Breddos being in that same group of people already opened a door to across the pond collaboration possibilities. I have never visited London so when we had a chance to collaborate on an event I jumped at it!

HOC: You’ve wanted to be a top taquero for years but when you look at other food movements that are taking off, if it hadn’t had been tacos, what would you have like to be a master in?

WA: I probably would have gravitated toward producing food rather than cooking. I’ve always found the art of cheese making as super interesting. Maybe I would have become a cheese maker….

HOC: Everyone can get on board with a good cheese! Finally, what’s your favourite food place in L.A. right now?

My favourite food place is probably Baroo (5706 Santa Monica Blvd) . There are a ton of great places here but that place stood out. Fantastic food!

House of Coco will be heading out to Los Angeles in early March and will bring you some more amazing food from the sunshine state. If you’re heading out there check out for their locations!

For more information, visit the official visitor information website of Los Angeles at , join the more than one million people who follow L.A. Tourism’s Facebook page at, or follow @discoverLA on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Here at House of Coco, we know the value of a great pair of sunglasses. And with spring finally bringing in some welcome sunshine, a fabulous pair of sunglasses should be on everybody’s shopping lists for the season.

Whether you are lounging on the beach in the Maldives, or enjoying a warm après ski in the Swiss Alps – a good pair of sunnies is an absolute must for any stylish jet-setter. Not only are sunnies the perfect finishing touch for any ensemble, they also serve as the perfect travel companion no matter where your destination. From Oliver People’s feminine yet angular styles, to Céline’s modern take yellow frames, House of Coco rounds up the best Superstar Sunnies of the season, to help you pick our your new favourite pair just in time for your next holiday.

  1. Swarovski Clear Sunglasses £120
  2. Sener Besim S3 in Nero/Graphite £1076
  3. Oliver Peoples Rassine in soft rose gold & Magenta £255
  4. Grey Ant Iemall $370
  5. Céline Yellow Sunglasses £320
  6. Ace & Tate Frances in Poppy £98
  7. Moncler Gold sunglasses £300
  8. Ace & Tate Vivian in Rose Gold £148

Disclaimer: This #TeamCoco writer does not know anything about art. I would never pretend to and I actively shy away from Arty talk; that’s why we have our residential art guru Rachael Lindsay.

However, if you are spending any time in DownTown LA (or DTLA as the cool kids call it) you have to get a free (FREE?!) ticket for new modern art museum on the block, The Broad (S Grand Ave, DTLA). Open since September 2015, the stunning piece of modern architecture acts not not only as home to Eli and Edythe Broad’s extensive collection of influential art but also a mix of permanent and special exhibition space.

When we visited we were lucky enough to experience the permanent collection to gawp at life changing pieces of art you didn’t even know you knew or had influenced you from Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Barbara Krueger to Takashi Murakami and Roy Lichtenstein.

The special exhibition ‘Creature’ thematically displayed pieces by some of the artists in the permanent collection (notably Koons’ ‘Metallic Venus’) alongside pinch-me-I-can’t-believe-I’m-in-front-of-this work like Damien Hirst’s ‘No Arts, No Letters, No Society’ and Andreas Gursky’s ‘SH III’.

Heading back to the stunning foyer we got our timed tickets for the star attraction, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room. As an incredibly personal installation, the lines for this are long as it is designed as a single person experience.

Lamentably, a mirror selfie in this space seems to be the main reason for most of the excitable people in the queue, hoping to nail their Tinder profile pic that says ‘Oh hey there, I’m cultured AND fun!’.

We go in, camera firmly in pocket and sit on the floor of the platform that is surrounded by water to enjoy 1 minute alone with this astonishing piece. Get in the queue early when you arrive as there was a 5 hour wait for this experience, but you can leave the gallery and come back when you are texted to do so!

Tickets are available for this incredible museum from

They are completely free and released at the start of each month.

In addition to the art you’ll find in LA’s incredible museums be sure to check out some Street Art while you are in town. A great place to start is

Zurich probably wouldn’t be the first place you’d think of jetting off to for long weekend. Conjuring up ideas of grey skies, middle aged businessmen talking finance and impossibly expensive everything, it’s somewhere that most us try not to think of at all!

Here at House of Coco, we like to break barriers down so, when the opportunity came up to add on a quick dash around Zurich to an adventure to Gstaad (more on that later!) this writer couldn’t resist. I hastily searched Zurich on insta and armed with screenshots, I was determined to take the city on and find its hidden secrets.

One of the great perks of the city being a business hub is that the airport is so crazily efficient. Seriously, I think I landed, got through security, straight onto a train to the Zürich Hauptbahnhof train station and left the stunner of a station with 45 minutes of landing. It often takes me longer than that to buy a coffee when I land!

Through the power of comfy trainers and the Uber app I took on the challenge of exploring the city in 24 hours, first dropping my case at the super central and beautiful Hotel Continental Zurich MGallery by Sofitel (Stampfenbachstrasse 60). The hotel is a great contrast of modern (with its colourful cow statue) and traditional with multiple types of bircher muesli at the breakfast buffet in its cosy swiss style restaurant.

I started out exploring the Aldstadt (Old Town), ambling past the quirky and historic Caberte Voltaire (Spiegelgasse 1), dodging raindrops down cobbled streets and emerged to the beautiful view of the city across the river Limmat. On every corner was a cute coffee shop but I had no time to stop as I had a date with the fascinating homegrown recycled fashion and accessory brand FREITAG’s F-actory 3 miles out of the city centre in the Oerlikon which is a gritty, interesting area and as FREITAG themselves say, is “pre-hip”. The company is a fascinating example of eco fashion and planning for the future of our planet with their durable and ecofriendly productions. For more on their work, see this article.

Even if you don’t make it out to the F-actory, I’d heard that the FREITAG Tower (Geroldstrasse 17), the company’s flagship shop was worth a visit. Expecting some shiny floored, tv screen filled boutique, the store in in Zurich-West constructed from 17 shipping containers blew my mind. I even climbed to the top of the containers (with white knuckles!) to take in the view of the industrial part of the city, Zurich-West.

The FREITAG Tower is right next to two of Zurich’s most instagrammable spots. On one side, the glorious beer garden Frau Gerolds (Geroldstrasse 23/23a) which hosts independent boutiques, art and a programme of events. On the other, the colourful umbrella canopy of Gerolds Chuchi restaurant (Geroldstrasse 5) .

From here I wandered the length of Viadukt (Markthalle im Viadukt, 8005) , Zurich’s self-proclaimed most exciting shopping street. Housed in, yep – you guessed it, a viaduct I cooed over resturants, bars and independent fashion brands in a unique, industrial setting. I would have moved in but had to hot foot it back to the train to continue the Swiss adventure…

The challenge of uncovering gems in a seemingly boring city gave me such a buzz that I’ll be taking this on everytime I travel. Stopovers where you stay in the hotel are for losers! Who’s with me?

As a cosy base for my exploring of Zurich I stayed with Hotel Continental Zurich MGallery by Sofitel. It’s super central and a welcome rest for aching feet from pounding the pavements and cobbled streets! For more information and to book your stay go to

House of Coco chatted with fashion designer Elizabeth-Yemi Akingbade about her fashion brand Yemzi, the importance of bootstrapping and pursuing your dreams. (Photo credit: © 2016)

HOC: Hey Elizabeth, tell us about Yemzi and where we can find your products?

EA: Hello House Of Coco! All Yemzi pieces are made in London with Africa inspired hand-illustrated digitally printed premium silk. The brand is stocked in the GoodPlace boutique in Chelsea and my ultimate dream is to be stocked in similar boutiques worldwide Alara (Lagos), Browns (London), Collette (Paris). In Nigeria they respect good quality European design and I plan to approach stockists there over the next season or two. Until recently I have been selling my Black Label, a more affordable segment of the brand, on ASOS Marketplace but I’ve made the decision to solely focus on my high-end items in the Gold Label.

I’ve been approached to showcase my work at a number of small fashion and trade shows but my target is on the British Fashion Council’s official London Fashion Week schedule. I hosted my own fashion show last year on Dalston Roof Park, which was great and I’m planning another for this September in a World War 2 bunker! It’s all about stepping stones and building up; nothing happens overnight.

HOC: How did you come to running your own brand?

EA: After completing my undergrad degree in Surface Design at London College of Communication I took some short courses in Garment Construction, Bespoke Tailoring, and Pattern Cutting. I’m currently studying MA African Studies at SOAS which also informs my creative direction. I started working with sustainable printed t-shirts after I graduated in 2013 and had them stocked in one of the top 3 African boutiques.

From my presence in this store a fashion talent scout and strategist invited to show in Paris at Labo Ethnik. I really didn’t want to be going to Paris with just t-shirts so I applied my prints to cut and sewn styles. My first success was my silk kimonos, they sold so well and propelled me to create my first all silk 13 look ready-to-wear collection, ‘Straight Out Of The City Via The Motherland’ (SS16). My work explores British-Nigerian identity, fusing the fast pace of the city with the chilled vibe of the sea-side and often touches on politics as well as culture. I’m like Yinka Shonibare’s love-child with Vivienne Westwood.

HOC: Do you feel you get to be creative with your brand, is that one of your reasons for running this business?

EA: Absolutely! I’ve just started working on my new collection and I’ve been sketching and painting loads. In fact, I need to focus more on the numbers but my business is proof that you can carve a career doing exactly what you love. At the moment I’m so excited about Spring/Summer 17 (SS17), the Nigerian influence is stronger this season. After reading ‘Yoruba Photography: How the Yoruba See Themselves’ by Stephen F. Sprague for class ‘Ibeji’ (Yoruba twins) are a theme within the collection. Nigerians are most likely to have twins and I plan to play on this in the lookbook. The fashion prints that I’m working on are reminiscent of scarification and I’d love to book a stunning Nigerian model called Paula who has tribal markings on her stomach.

HOC: In the fashion industry we feel that it’s important who you know and where you are seen? How do you find the right people and places?

EA: It is important to sustain relationships and seek valuable connections. If you keep in touch with your fashion network you’ll hear about industry news, events and parties.

I also have a few mentors that I’ve met in various places. There’s a coach called Kofi who I met through Bootstrap company’s enterprise bootcamp, who I often go to as a sounding board. I always keep him in the loop and ask for his advice. I recently went to the The StartUp Kitchen to meet with well-established entrepreneurs who are willing to give gidance. These types of events are great forums to talk about new ideas and get your feedback from experts in other industries. We all have different approaches to business; for instance I met a lady who was all about picking up the phone, chasing for sales and making money. It’s different from how I operate but it’s interesting to see a different perspective. You can learn a lot from other people’s experiences and take aspects to shape your direction.

HOC: There’s a lot of work that goes into having your own fashion brand and you work and study alongside! How do you manage it all?

EA: My savings have given my business life and I do work when I can to top it up. I’m lucky to have a committed intern, Krezsend, who comes to the Yemzi HQ in Dalston to help out with whatever is on the agenda.

For blogger outreach I was working with a friend with a PR company but it is all in-house again. Outside of contacting bloggers I reach out to photographers, models and musicians who may want to collaborate. A big part of the search is for the ‘Yemzi Girl’; the girl that embodies my brand and can influence others on social media. For instance, I connected with a model from NYC who I had been fangirling for a minute and sent her a ‘Spbra’ bralet which she showcased on her Instagram.

I’m not shy to get exposure. Sadiq Khan visited my studio the other month and he said he was heading to Ben TV next and would shout me out. I held him to it and sure enough he co-signed me on international television. I’m all over my google analytics so I know what generates traffic to so I always keep and eye on activity and plan accordingly.

HOC: You mention the Yemzi girl influencer, tell us more about her and how you find her?

EA: As I mentioned earlier I do a lot of tracking through analytics, I find the girls that have influence through looking at their follower to interaction ratio, who are the kinds of people who follow them and like their content. Yemzi girls have natural hairstyles, they tend to be creative and positive. I’ve got a #GirlBoss tip for you actually, check out Talia Wolf (Taliagw) and Mark Suster (msuster) on snapchat for snapstorms where they gives quick strategies on how to get more engagement online and other killer marketing and business tips.

HOC: So it sounds like social media is incredibly important to Yemzi at the moment?

EA: Absolutely, although I have had some not so great experiences. The other month a photographer was indirectly trashing me on twitter to his few thousand following. It was really unfair as I respectfully approached him about a shoot with an influencer (a beautiful model with 45k followers and 3k likes per post) but because there was no budget he was airing our direct message conversation in his public timeline rather than politely declining. I don’t care though, we all have to start somewhere and the most successful hustle hard to get things popping. If in 2016 Kanye West can ask for a billion dollars for his ideas then I can ask for a TFP (time for print) photoshoot from a local photographer!

The fashion industry in London is small, you really have to be aware of this.

I successfully approached a fashion photography graduate a few years ago via Twitter, we’ve done some amazing (unpaid and paid) collaborations, and she currently works at Net-A-Porter. The creative team are an important part of any shoot and the photographer needs to be as excited about your work as you otherwise the passion won’t be translated to the consumers.

HOC: You’re achieving so much, is there anything you wish you could spend more time and energy on?

EA: Visiting the spa? Jokes aside, networking more, my schedule does not priorities it. It’s on my list of activities to make regular but I have very little spare time. I need to just dedicate some time to finding events through friends, eventbrite and twitter and go. You can make some amazing contacts and even if you just walk away from an event with one decent contact it’s worthwhile.

Thank you Elizabeth for a whirlwind tour of your world and we cannot wait for your new SS17 collection. If you, dear reader, like what you’ve read do check out Yemzi. This #TeamCoco writer can vouch for how awesome they are, our hubby wants to nick our unisex green/blue print silk sweater!

In a move that still makes Soho feel a bit like Soho (am I right, Londoners? Gosh darn you, gentrification!) once again exotic goods were available on Berwick Street in the form of Hong Kong street snack, Bubble Wrap.

As a curious alien hybrid of a crepe, waffle and a bubble tea vibe thrown in these delicious treats are soon to be taking the food scene by storm. Around since the 1950s the treat has hit our capital, first in street market form and in one week’s time in its rightful home on Wardour St. Bubble Wrap serves up delicious desserts with fresh fruits, nuts, sauces and ice-cream; what more could you want?!

We tucked into a delicious Pecan and Salted Caramel while our co-guinea pig went for the classic banana and chocolate combination; both were super indulgent and filling; this definitely a sharer after a dinner out… or a dinner replacement after a few brewskis.

Pop down to Bubble Wrap at 24 Wardour Street from 8th March!

As we mourn the sad loss of rock royalty Peaches Geldof, we couldn’t help but reminisce on the times the reformed mother of two got her knees dirty and her hair knotted at a festival or two.

Not one to shy away from family history, Peaches embraced the ‘Grunge’ look and always did festivals as they should be done… Messy and dirty but always on point.

This season, take your festival style inspiration from Peaches. Our festival style Queen.

For more information about the untimely and sudden death of Peaches Geldof click here

Meet Loveness Lee. A jewellery designer that combines art, science, and nature to create wonderfully unique hand-crafted statement pieces that are truly out of this world. Here at House of Coco, we’re all about that laptop lifestyle, and this is exactly what Loveness Lee built her eponymous brand on. Working with creatives and buyers from all over the world, Loveness Lee has built her business on different languages and timezones making her a GirlBoss that is not only forward thinking and global minded, but is also winning at the jewellery game with her latest eclectic trans-natural collection. Young, dynamic, and absolutely inspirational, Loveness Lee is a GirlBoss that is definitely Team Coco approved.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background, what made you fall in love with jewellery design?

From an early age, I developed a keen interest for the natural sciences, in particular chemistry. Also, my mother is an architect, and this fostered in me a passion for art and design. For me it made sense to be a jewellery designer, because I can enjoy the best of both disciplines! I am able to research and experiment with different materials like a scientist does, and also craft beautiful objects like an artist.

Tell us about Loveness Lee – what is your aesthetic all about?

Serendipity plays a key role in my design process: I am drawn to natural shapes, colours, and textures; which are impossible to pre-determine yet remain consistently familiar. I see the ‘trans-natural’ concept at the heart of my jewellery as a collaboration between nature, science, and art — three distinct methods working in unison. My fascination with organic materials compels me to investigate the interplay between different substances in my jewellery, to understand their properties and potentials without imposing limits upon them through my designs.

Before starting your eponymous brand, you trained as a jeweller and silversmith for seven years. How have these foundations helped you with your approach to Loveness Lee?

I want to create jewellery that is art. Years of studying and training not only helped me to perfect my skills of hand-making, but also helped me discover my design style and concept. Jewellery is a channel. A way of elevating the quotidian by creating beautiful physical objects. The world through my eyes is formed of stunning shapes, amazing textures and vibrant colours. In a way, my jewellery is a small interpretation of the world as I see it. For me, this is the point of art. My life and experiences are a constant source of inspiration and intrigue. Transforming my imagination into something tangible brings me so much joy. I want to translate my passion for living into jewellery, to communicate it for the whole world to see.

Since launching Loveness Lee in 2016 – what has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a businesswoman so far?

The biggest challenge is managing the communications between the team members — essentially HR. Since I started my brand, I have been very fortunate to have international employees and work with photographers, models, makeup artists and graphic designers etc from all over the world. The advantage of having such international team members is not only easier communications with international buyers in France, Morocco, and Korea, but also to bring unique ideas from different cultures. The disadvantage is the language barrier and cultural differences.The time differences between everyone can be challenging. Everyone is artist and passionate about their creations, so sometimes communication is really the key.

Talk us through your latest collection, the inspiration behind it, and if you have a favourite piece?

Trans-natural is an eclectic collection which, as its name suggests, goes above and beyond nature, in its pursuit of daring, statement jewellery. The pieces in the collection are inspired by the unpredictable, organic processes that order the world around us. Specifically investigating the role that decay and rebirth play in the circle of life. Science, art, and nature combine once more in the pieces: coiled, undulated shapes are partially gold-plated to represent the unhurried, gradual movement of being and time. Uncompromising but contemplative designs transform the fragility of nature and the limits of traditional jewellery, into strong statement pieces. They are the ultimate accessory for modern women who possess a thoughtful and bold outlook on fashion. I have always included statement hoop earrings in every collection of mine — as they are my favourite.

What advice do you have for women who would like to become a GirlBoss like yourself?

The beginning of being a girl boss is hard, but don’t let this stop what you love to do. Once you get used to it, it will get easier. I feel very privileged doing what I love every day.

Loveness Lee

While I prefer gold over silver for jewelry, I do love accents of silver. From shiny tin foil to a matte metal, silver can add the perfect amount of spark to a neutral day or night look. I received so many options for silver shoes and accessories, it only made sense to make it the focus.

Here are shoes and accessories to add a touch of shimmer to your Fall wardrobe:



M.GEMI: The Cristina

cult gaia: Mara Mule

LifeStride: Sevyn Pump

Marcella: Kelly Tote

Rebecca Minkoff: Ruched Clutch

M.GEMI: The Francesca Convertible Crossbody


Malone Souliers: JAYCE 90

Marcella: Petra Sandals

Aerosoles: Cosmos

M.GEMI: The Lizza Nuova

Aerosoles: Camera

dolce vita: Zohara

dolce vita: Beny

M.GEMI: The Fabiana

When I think of New York City, I think of a city bursting with artists/artisans sharing their talent with the world. Here are some notable ones I have met in recent years…


After bonding as college students, Alessandra Perez-Rubio and Louisa Rechter founded MESTIZA in 2015. Their common ties to the Philippines and strong fashionable foremothers as inspirations, helped inform the brand’s DNA. MESTIZA NEW YORK creates iconic designs for iconic people – timeless, polished and dazzling as the women who wear them.

MESTIZA NEW YORK has a dual mission: to empower women through their Tastemaker Series, featuring inspiring women in their community, and to reduce waste through their Heirloom Project, providing excess inventory as gifts to women entering the next phase of their careers.

Min & Mon

In March, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the cofounders of Min & Mon, Catherine McKenzie. I escaped from the cold crisp New York weather into the Soho Flagship. I was greeted not only by the bright eye-popping palate Min & Mon Handbag and Accessories but also Catherine’s warm smile. The Columbian born, New York designer’s brand embodies the company’s mantra, “In the Sea of Life, Be an Octopus” to the fullest. The company invests in a fair-trade Columbian workforce, partners with social justice organizations like the Advancement Project, Be the Bridge and Colombia’s Wayuu indigenous community through Human Rights Watch and is working on making their products more sustainable. It’s hard not to love a brand so devoted to their loyal customers and growing community.

Fortune & Frame

Gretel Going is the founder of Fortune & Frame, a jewelry brand whose signature pieces hold personalized messages and love notes-to-self. The brand now includes a variety of accessories and keepsakes. Born out of the necessity of keeping an insightful fortune paper, her solution became the brand’s now-iconic fortune cookie locket. It’s such a unique way to hold meaningful messages; my fortune cookie locket has the message “Everything always works itself out.”

It’s no mistake that Gretel’s Fortune & Frame pieces have been worn by celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg, Kate Hudson, and Jennifer Hudson. Global stockists include retailers like Anthropologie, Harvey Nichols Hong Kong and Le Maison Simons.


DAFNE Italy is, Creative director, Valentina Dafne Perissi’s first solo venture. With a base in fashion (working for Roberto Cavalli for a decade) and living in Florence, Valentina took her knowledge across the pond to New York City (by way of Milan and Tokyo) to start the brand. It was a huge step to move, from visiting New York with her fashion photographer dad at 11 years old. As told to New York writer, Wendy Sy, “Dafne is my middle name. My parents were supposed to call me Dafne but in the ‘80s it was a bit too different, so they named me Valentina.” Spot the eye in the “A” in the brand’s logo? This can be found in many of Valentina’s designs which speaks to her own pursuit of finding meaning in life.

Creating “art that you can wear,” her customized hand-painted apparel and accessories are infused with that vibrant New York energy. I love the elevated Majestic Blazer complete with feathers and hand embroidery. A statement piece to say the least.