Alessandra Belle is the epitome of a woman on the grind. Driven by her entrepreneurial spirit, she travelled the world and worked as a communication professional in several different industries before making a decision to embrace her creative passions. Raised in Kingston Jamaica, Belle left the island for London at age 17. After residing in London for eight years, Belle moved to Qatar, which is known as one of the most conservative areas in the Middle East, where she lived for two years. She then moved to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, before returning to the UK.
While travelling, Belle was able to keep her finger on the pulse of out-of-the-box fashion. Over two years ago, she started research and development for a new lifestyle brand and concept. After researching what her ideal company would look like, Belle found her true north as the founder and creative director of COCONAUTICAL, which will launch their online store on May 1st. With summer right around the corner, their social media following has been anxiously awaiting the reveal. The concept behind COCONAUTICAL, what it represents and the scale of the operation, is a first for a female Jamaican entrepreneur. Belle has created a platform to empower women, who design their way, and now have a place to sell this empowerment. These female designers have found a hub in COCNAUTICAL, where their creativity is embraced, and distributed to women the world over.Alessandra Belle is the founder and creative director of COCONAUTICAL.
We recently caught up with Belle to learn more about her motivation behind COCONAUTICAL.KingstonToLA: Tell us about your inspiration for COCONAUTICAL, where did it begin?
Alessandra Belle: COCONAUTICAL, is really a bi-product of my evolution as a woman. I'm a Christian and forme I've struggled a lot to comprehend my identity as a woman and my sexuality and its rightful place in the world.
Mywomaninity if you will, has taken me on a journey, From my childhood in Jamaica and my travels in the Middle East. I went from two bipolar extremes. From Jamaica where a woman's body is looked at as a very sexual object to the Middle East where covering and the conservative culture of the Abaya is encouraged by a system of strict religious morals and values. I started to ask myself what sexy means?
When you grow up in Jamaica you spend most of your life half naked. I mean we live on the beach, so you were either in a bikini or in shorts. So when I went to the Middle East it was shocking but refreshing to see how women wore the Abaya and even more surprising that Emirati and Qatari men found them extremely attractive. It was a whole new world for me, where being covered held its own virtue of sensuality.
It occurred to me that sexy is really about the mind. The world has given women a false representation of what the word should be. We attach it to our identities as we define our inner man, rather than recognizing that it not only about the outward appearance. True sensuality is really about being empowered, confident and comfortable in your own skin at all times whether you are covered head to toe or butt naked on a beach. If you carry something deeper that no one can take away from you, then no one can label you and you have the authority to finally be free.
COCONAUTICAL is about being free. The pieces are chosen and we choose to work with brands and designers who are bold, fresh and fun. We don't do boredom, if you want a basic black bikini you can go on the high-street. For us it's about the unexpected glamour by the pool or beach, the woman who has the bravado to step out in a metallic gold two piece because it's her world, you just happen to be in it.