When Camille Co isn’t blogging about her most recent getaway or posting videos about the must-cop beauty secrets to her flawless skin, she’s designing dream-worthy couture for her own fashion label. However, judging by her latest Instagram post, it looks like the latter of her impressive repertoire will unfortunately soon be left in the past.
Camille announced her departure from the world of fashion design and her brand, CoExist, in a bittersweet post, marking one of the last of her endeavors as a designer for her best friend's wedding. The blogger also revealed the reason behind her decision, “Fashion design is and will always be a passion of mine, but as I enter this new chapter of my life (getting married and soon starting a fam), I’ve realized I need to prioritize and focus on the future—and that is @curio_cavern, @thecantonclubph, and blogging. I’ve spread myself too thinly for too long. So even though it pains me to say goodbye to my original baby, change is good. Change is necessary,” Camille’s post explains.
Camille started her career in fashion design 10 years ago when she was a senior in college. Not meaning for CoExist, then an online store, to be more than just a hobby, she saw the brand as her final nod to her love for fashion before laying it all down and officially entering the corporate workforce. But life obviously had other plans for the blogger. "Coexist was received so well, I slowly realized, 'Hey, I can actually turn my dream into reality!' I just kept going and never stopped," Camille tells Preview.
The brand eventually paved the way for Camille's many other succesful career undertakings, which makes saying goodbye to her line and fashion design a whole lot harder. "I’ve been going back and forth on this decision for a couple of years now because I couldn’t bring myself to really say goodbye to my original baby. I hold Coexist so close to my heart, it was the hardest thing ever to finally admit to myself I had to let it go. But it was a necessary step for my growth." Camille says.
Below, Camille reveals to Preview the one thing she'll miss most about fashion design, her plans for the future, and more!
What inspired you to pursue fashion design in the first place?
"I’ve always loved fashion and fashion design in particular. I mean, I was already drawing princess gowns at the back of my notebook as a kid! It’s always been a passion of mine but I just never really considered it as a possible career. I come from a traditional Chinese family so I thought I was expected to go corporate like everyone else. So as a last hurrah before I enter the work force, I invited my sister to do Coexist with me. Even then, I thought I’d only be doing it for a couple of months or that it’ll always just be a small hobby of mine. But then Coexist was received so well, I slowly realized, 'Hey, I can actually turn my dream into reality!' I just kept going and never stopped.
"Funny, though. During my senior year, when all the companies have been sending out job invites to students they’re interested in, I never went to a single interview. I’ve always been that responsible student, honors since birth. You’d think I would’ve at least tried one. I just couldn’t bring myself to go to any one of them. I don’t know why I didn’t see that as a strong sign back then. I’ve always been inclined to the arts. I couldn’t imagine myself behind a desk, doing a nine to five."
How would you describe your overall journey as a fashion designer?
"So much growth and learnings. From being a small RTW online store to being in malls and eventually transitioning to what it is now—a made-to-order evening line, Coexist has had so many highs and lows and each one has taught me so much. I would say I was happy how it went. A lot of what I have now wouldn’t have happened if not for Coexist. Even my blogging career (which eventually took up bulk of my time) was because of Coexist. I started blogging because I wanted to market my designs! I’m sure I could’ve done more for Coexist but to be honest, I’ve spread myself out too much this last couple of years."
That being said, what made you decide to say goodbye to fashion design and CoExist?
"I’ve been going back and forth on this decision for a couple of years now because I couldn’t bring myself to really say goodbye to my original baby. I hold Coexist so close to my heart, it was the hardest thing ever to finally admit to myself I had to let it go. But it was a necessary step for my growth. I’ve already branched out to different businesses like my Scandinavian furniture store, Curio Cavern, and my soon-to-open restaurant, The Canton Club. I’m sure not a lot of people realize this but blogging and social media also take up so much of my time and effort. These three endeavors plus Coexist is a handful, and honestly so, so stressful. Add to this, I’m getting married! I’m 30 now and will eventually start a family. I needed to choose my battles—what to focus on and which to prioritize for my future."
Do you think there’s a chance that you’ll be returning to it in the future?
"That’s what a lot of my clients and followers are telling me. They think I’ll probably go back to designing in the future. As of now, I don’t think so. But who knows? My love for fashion design will never ever go away so we’ll never know."
Seeing as your wedding’s coming up, did you at least consider designing your own gown, or did you leave that job to someone else instead?
"A few years back, yes—especially when I started considering saying goodbye to Coexist. I wanted my own wedding to be my last project. But now that I’m actually engaged and getting married, I realized I want someone else to do it. I want to feel every bit of a bride—going to bridal shops, trying different gowns. I actually just said yes to the dress in New York a little over a month ago!"
What will you miss the most about fashion design?
"I’ve always loved seeing my vision come to life and seeing the faces of my clients light up when they’re in my gowns. I’ll miss this the most. I’ll miss creating. (I’ll probably create again but this time for Curio Cavern.)"
Lastly, what’s next for you career-wise?
"I’m really into interior design and furniture so I’ll be focusing on Curio Cavern. Fashion will always be my first love so at least I get to do it still through blogging and social media."
We support you and wish you nothing but the best, Camille!