Ocio Leisure and the Proliferation of Loungewear

Catching up with the founders ahead of their third collection launch today

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Ocio Leisure

“Comfort is definitely here to stay,” Tayler Coffin, co-founder of Ocio Leisure, tells me as we discuss how the brand she co-founded with longtime friend Samantha Meyer was born. Despite the proliferation of loungewear during the pandemic, the roots of Ocio can be traced back to a pre-quarantine era, one when two friends simply wanted to create a loungewear brand that checked all the boxes. Years later—and one year into the run of the brand—the duo has truly created the quintessential loungewear band; and it’s one you can feel good about wearing.

Shop the latest collection, which dropped today, here.

The Origin of Ocio

Early on in our conversation, Tayler jokes to me that “within their friend group, Sam is known as the loungewear aficionado.” As an aficionado, Sam had never quite found a brand that hit all the prerequisites of the ideal comfort-first brand. There were brands that had beautiful material, but the fit wasn’t right. Or perhaps she found a great brand aesthetically, but the production didn’t prioritize sustainability. “If [Sam] doesn’t know about it, then it doesn’t exist,” Tayler recognized, coming to the realization: “We had found a gap in the market.”

So they spent the better part of three years researching and developing what would eventually become Ocio Leisure. When I ask Sam her favorite thing about running Ocio, the answer comes back to this initial ethos of the brand. “For me, it’s been the sustainability side. I’ve always been a fan of shopping sustainably, and getting to really truly deep dive and understand just how extensive it is and just how hard it is to truly claim to be sustainable—and not just slap a label on it and call it day—is something we’re very proud of,” Sam explains. Early on, they hired a sustainability manager to cement the commitment to the concept as a core value of the brand.

Sustainability was the first hurdle to overcome; years later, everything Ocio sells is manufactured in a five-mile radius in Los Angeles. “We really work to reduce our environmental impact, significantly,” Tayler echoes. Transparency in prodcution has also been a huge priority for the brand; the two go hand in hand. You can read essentially everything about Ocio’s production process, the materials and more here.

They eventually created a custom fabric to check all the boxes, the more lightweight material they used in their first collection—which debuted last year. They did a second collection for F/W last year, utilizing a heavier material and more oversized silhouette for the cooler months. This third collection marks the introduction of shorts comprised of the heavier material into the brand's repertoire.

The Ocio Third Collection and the Future

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Today, they launch their third collection, invoking the materials from the second, but with styles more catered to summer. “We love our current pieces, but wanted them to transition into summer. This fabric is very versatile,” Sam explains. The changing weather influenced the different silhouettes of the most recent collection, as Tayler explains: “We were inspired by west coast summer evenings. So that’s the color palette and the pieces that we really styled it for.”

“We’re consistently creating something new,” Sam tells me when I ask about the future of the brand. They have tentative plans to launch knitwear (something they’re researching right now) and are in the process of developing a new fabric for future collections.

Comfort is here to stay.

- Taylor Coffin

Loungewear is certainly having a moment, but a new emphasis on comfort is more than just a trend; it’s an evolution in the way we think about getting dressed. “People are not moving away from their sweatsuits; they’re incorporating them into their everyday life. So we’re really excited to explore more about how we can bring sustainability and comfort to people’s everyday wardrobes,” Tayler tells me excitedly.

I also wanted to hear a little advice from the fledgling designers about how to get into any creative field. “50% of starting any business is finding the right people to work with,” Tayler explains, adding that the most important thing is, “building the connections around you and really getting involved in the spaces you would like to create.”

With loungewear’s continued integration into the canon of fashion, Ocio is sure to stick around. There are few brands that rival the LA upstart when it comes to looking good and feeling good—physically and ethically.

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