Photos by Becca Sabot
Hair and makeup by Ingrid Kent/Wehmann Models and Talent
(Left) Designer Elizabeth Geisler models her collection. Waldorf weekend coat in whiskey, $795
(Middle) Notting Hill cap sleeve sweater, $395
(Right) High Street swing cape in burgundy, $695
Elizabeth Geisler is always cold. Tricky, for a native Minnesotan. But it made her resourceful. As a design student at the University of Delaware, Geisler made coats a big part of her senior thesis apparel collection. She called the project Cocoon.
After graduating, Geisler went to New York where she learned the fashion business by working under designers, and then as a production coordinator—which taught her how to get clothes made, but didn’t allow her to express her own style. So she started making things on the side. Making coats, that is. And Cocoon seemed a most fitting label.
Geisler works in high-end fabrics such as boiled wool and alpaca. “The fabric dictates the style,” she says.
Her winter collection includes a chunky sleeveless sweater, A-line coats, and her signature cape—one of the first pieces she designed, and still one of the most popular.
“My earliest influence was my grandmother, who was a model. I remember her hats and gowns, and fashion photos,” Geisler says. “My timeless, classic look comes from her. I want to make the coat you can have for your whole life.”
Three years ago, buoyed by the enthusiasm of friends, and with word spreading about her outerwear designs, Geisler decided to focus on her own busines full-time, at which point she made the somewhat curious decision to leave New York and return home, to the Twin Cities.
“I knew I had the support system here,” she says. And, plenty of cold weather for inspiration.
She does the design work from her Linden Hills home, and has her coats made at a small factory in New York.
She’s skipping right over spring and already focusing on her next fall/winter collection, which is likely to include more structured coats, and possibly a blazer.
“The coat is the first thing, and the only thing, most people are going to see about your outfit,” Geisler says. “You should feel great about it.”
Cocoon by Elizabeth Geisler is available at Showroom (615 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-345-7391) and online at cocoonbyelizabethgeisler.com