Throughout the last few years, there's been a growing shift in the fashion influencer space. Being a tastemaker often means having a strong visual aesthetic, one that's similarly appreciated in the fashion design world. While the creativity and drive that can help to launch an influencer's success don't always translate to being a good designer, for some, like Alyssa Coscarelli (better known by her Instagram handle @alyssainthecity), it can. With 307,000 followers to date, it's clear there's a good deal of social media users who share in her creative vision, or at the very least, find it inspiring.
For her latest endeavor, Coscarelli teamed up with Aperçu, a luxury sunglasses brand whose specialty includes partnering with internet cool girls to create playful acetate designs. Together, they've dreamed up a capsule collection of retro-inspired frames that manages to perfectly sum up Coscarelli's approach to her personal style.
Anyone who's a loyal follower of Coscarelli's won't be surprised by the collection's design and color choices. Mixing timeless vintage items with cool and modern designs (both with her fashion choices and with her home décor) has become her M.O. Her acetate rectangular sunglasses feel very mod and come in an array of retro-friendly colors.
But as much as the sunglasses collection was designed with her own tastes in mind, she's also continuously conscious of what her followers will enjoy. She explains, "Toward the end of the design process with Aperçu, we were deciding between two shapes—one fairly typical cat-eye, and the more rectangular frame we eventually settled on. I knew the typical cat-eye would technically be more wearable, but the rectangular frames really felt like me. I'm lucky that my followers can also appreciate a unique, personal approach to style—something I know firsthand from previous collaborations, and from engaging with them daily, so I felt comfortable going the riskier route with a bolder frame shape despite knowing that the cat-eye might be more widely received."
More than anything, Coscarelli likes to bring an air of discovery to her platform. With these rectangular frames, she hopes that her followers will "be excited about a sunglasses shape they might not already have in their collection. I know I'm biased, but they honestly looked amazing on everyone. I'm so excited to continue seeing the frames on friends and followers around the world."
Coscarelli is no stranger to brand collaborations. Her extensive roster has included curating pop-up shops and designing capsule collections with the likes of New York–based jewelry brand Local Eclectic and Petite Studio, a fashion brand that caters specifically to women 5'2" and under.
Coscarelli enjoys the freedom of working with a range of smaller brands. Unsurprising since that same ethos of supporting indie brands is what's helped her to amass such a large following. She shares, "To me, that's where the magic really happens. Collaborating with brands and co-designing products are some of my favorite aspects of my career, and I plan to hone in on that even more in the coming year or two." As for whether there will be some eventual plan to go the route of launching her namesake brand, she says, "No plans for my own label at the moment, but I do have an idea I'm fleshing out for a platform that makes collaboration an even more core part of my career and my platform."
With #ad sponsorships being such an integral part of the influencer community, it's still a novel idea to see popular Instagrammers choosing to add collaborations to their revenue stream. For Coscarelli, she sees it as a win for in an industry that still carries some stigma against the Instagram famous crowd. "I'm excited that brands are really recognizing the power that influencers have beyond just selling product, but also their power creatively and entrepreneurially/marketing-wise. I think they're really starting to see the real benefits that come with tapping into the minds of influencers on a deeper level—not just regularly sponsored content, but through product collabs and larger-scale collaborations."
We're apt to agree since this new trend won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Coscarelli views collaborations as a positive shift, saying, "It's a win for the brand who gets access to a creator's vision and audience, and for the influencer who gets the resources (manufacturing, product expertise, etc.) while also being able to promote something they've built and actually believe in rather than just a one-off #ad. So everyone wins, really."
Shop the new Alyssa Coscarelli x Aperçu collab below.