By Timothy Fanning
One year ago, alumnus Alessandro Cocozza hoped to sew together the seams of his first business, Worldthrift. From the spare room of his home, he built a single pipe rack inventory full of treasures he’d found while scouring thrift stores and bargain bins, local and worldwide.
Now business has exploded.
He’s had a big pop-up event at Green Bench Brewing Co. and two permanent locations at Furnish Me Vintage and MESU360 Project Gallery in downtown St. Petersburg. In addition, he’s had pop-ups in New Orleans and Los Angeles.
Cocozza’s third and one of his biggest fashion shows was at MESU360 on Friday.
Fourteen Models were outfitted entirely from his Winter ‘17 collection, a string of ‘90s-era classics such as mid-drift sweaters, high-waisted jeans and baggy shorts.
Models lined up around the makeshift runway that wrapped from First Avenue N and Sixth Street and ended inside MESU360.
“This is definitely one of the biggest events we’ve done,” Cocozza said. “It’s been a busy year. When I first told The Crow’s Nest where I wanted to be in a year, I said I wanted a shop in downtown St. Pete. Now that dream has come true. It’s been a lot of hard work that’s paid off. We just push and love what we do.”
Cocozza, with a group of high school friends, has created a gang of artists, musicians, businessmen, culinary chefs and fashion designers known as AoK Family.
Current members are Nicholas Fanning, Hümberto Frutos, Christian Lewis, Harrison Barcelo and Alex Valentin.
For this event, they scored a $1,000 sponsorship from Hooters for the fashion show, a partnership they hope to culminate.
Cocozza graduated from the Kate Tiedemann College of Business with a marketing degree in 2016. Since then, it’s been his dream to bring St. Petersburg the best range of vintage styles from around the world.
Above image caption: From left Mastrėø Roze, Alessandro Cocozza, Samuel Carrington (Owner of MESU360). COURTESY of Geofran Carrington