Upon the launch of bleaq in Brick Lane, we were fortunate to meet Cornelius (now to us, our friend Coco); a wonderfully fascinating character of whom we just had to know more. Over our time there, we discovered his career of upcycling men’s suits during the 90’s; experimental layering and thought provoking silhouettes for the time - it was evident we had to bring his creations back to life whilst also telling his story.
Born into a family of strong Irish republicans, Cornelius found himself different to his bodybuilding father - using books as a form of escapism to stretch his imagination far and wide during ‘his awkward boy-hood’. Ultimately, the likes of ‘Our Lady of the Flowers’ (Jean Genet), ‘The Well of Loneliness’ (Radclyffe Hall) and ‘She Came to Stay’ (Simone de Beauvoir) gave Coco the confidence and inspiration to feel comfortable with himself, driving him to create powerful outfits his new found inspiration of ‘anti-heroes’.
Cornelius’ aesthetic see’s true to this influence; giving strong silhouettes, empowering forms and bold fusions with reimagined garments. Upon deep reflection and changing his view on his life, these outfits were soon to be worn by Coco himself. He reimagined himself as his amazing anti-heroes (who now live within him) - thus making him the eclectic delight he is today.