Catzorange, Weaving Sunshine from a Studio in Brooklyn
Coco and Johnny blend natural cotton with morning light for bags that shine year round. The duo is now launching their third collection.
Woven bags by Coco and Johnny Mannix manifest the non-seasonal, thoughtful visual identity shared by the married couple. Henri Matisse, Lisa Bonet and Constantin Brâncuși help fill their journal of inspirational references, while a plant-laden studio captures the essence from which the Catzorange project was born.
The duo handcrafts the memorable circular, bucket and shallow vessels themselves, looping thick strands of natural cotton to create objects that appeal hanging from a shelf or a shoulder. Natural rope forms a malleable alternative to popular straw basket bags, which can sometimes feel at odds with city living, especially in the colder months. I discovered Catzorange shortly after they launched earlier this year, a white circle tote rarely leaving my side since.
After a full season working on a farm in Amagansett, the couple moved to Johnny’s native New York – Coco is from Berlin, where they originally met. Without much money, the pair created what they needed, including an in-between bag for in-between moments. Blurring the lines to create pieces that are modest and useful, textural and distinctive. Quietly luxurious, these small vessels encourage a whittling down to essential items for maximum movability.
“Catzorange is a special word, meaningful to the lovers who met there”
Autumnal shades of chili and forest green are some of the limited colourways available, using non-toxic dyes in small batches. They prescribe to order maximums rather than minimums, a combination of hand sewing and sewing machines to make each bag individually. Coco tells me they keep up a close relationship with suppliers, pieces and customers to help track their footprint and contribute to a more sustainable culture of consumption. When I left an ink cartridge in my beloved tote, it was Coco herself who swiftly and sweetly advised me on damage control.
The pair has captured an elusive sensibility shared by young creatives with souls that seem older. Instinctively we are drawn by the stories and aesthetics that make us feel good. For Johnny and Coco it’s the big 90s runway designers, artists and their lifestyles, plants, architecture, uniforms, clean lines and simple forms. Catzorange is a special word, meaningful to the lovers who met there. For the wearers, it is its own vessel carrying their values of simplicity, quality and timelessness.
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