What if those sunglasses you found while browsing at the local marketplace turned out to be the next big designer name?

It’s possible if you are wearing Cleo Nicci, a small sunglasses brand that creates their products based on designs from fashion students, currently operating in NYC. 

The aesthetic of Cleo Nicci is funky, unique, and eclectic. You can find glasses made of unusual materials, such as wood or stone. They come in a wide variety of shapes, from standard cat eye or round lenses, to funky, exaggerated silhouettes. The designs run the gamut from vintage classic to ultra-modern. You could channel any vibe, from a 1950s era glamorous Marilyn Monroe to something that could be seen on Lady Gaga in one of her music videos.

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The only way to view these creations in person is to go down to the small South Street Local Artists shop, overlooking the pier. South Street Local Artists is a venture dedicating to highlighting the work of phenomenally talented young, local designers. In addition to styles by Cleo Nicci, it offers handmade art and clothing by Irrix Screen, and lovely, delicate jewelry by Angela Colombo. These artistic and unique handmade pieces are exclusive to South Street Local Artists and can’t be found elsewhere. Each and every piece is designed with a vision. The sunglasses are displayed on the walls of the shop, rows and rows of different designs: bright white oversized glasses, gold rimmed frames with tinted blue lenses, simple black glasses with subtle rhinestones lining the edges, and more. 

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This variety and this creative expression is after all, truly the essence of New York City, and something the brand prides itself on. The New York aesthetic is individual, unique, and a little rebellious. It cannot be attributed to any one style, but welcomes all authentic characters: If you wear it with confidence, it’s on trend. It’s a symbol of the energy of the city, and the people in it who are always creating something new.

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While browsing the store, you are sure to find a style that speaks to you in some way, even if you can’t explain why. Go ahead and wear something eccentric– who knows, you might be wearing a design from a young student at FIT who is on their way to becoming a big name! Be proud to support young local artists, and you will look effortlessly cool while doing it.

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 All images © 2015 StyleBlend Magazine.  All rights reserved.

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