Cynthia O’Connor: Smartest Woman in Fashion?

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Lela Rose, Be & D, Kooba, and Kate Spade are just a few of the brands Cynthia O’Connor has helped bring to the crest of the buyers’ market. An entrepreneur and avid shopper, O’Connor may be one of the smartest women in fashion today.

O’Connor has come a long way from her humble beginnings on a teen fashion board for a Dallas department store to her own multi-category women’s fashion showroom. As a teenager, the brains behind Cynthia O’Connor + Company (COC + Co) wanted to be a fashion buyer. With expanding locations for building brands in Manhattan and Los Angeles, her sights have since been set even higher. Her keen eye and distinct opinion of how she wanted to dress since the age of 12 have propelled her success.

O’Connor began working with jewelry designers Michele and Robin of Me & Ro. “They’re like no other artists I’ve ever worked with because of their uncensored and overflowing talent. They are truly two of the most creative people I have had the pleasure of working with. They are like taming wild stallions.” Working with a number of goal-oriented designers, O’Connor attributes her success to spending time around such personalities and learning how to best draw out their ideas.

She’s proud of her business. “COC + Co builds brands because we have a long-term strategy, not a ‘sell it today and collect your check’ philosophy.” O’Connor loves it just so. “When people walk in, they can see the success and that validates the experience.”