April 3, 2012 09:12

Dive into summer style with a splash of arm color.


Dive into summer style with a splash of arm color.
By Leslie Turk    Photo by Robin May

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Color, color, everywhere. Deep, rich cherry reds, sweet violets, tantalizing teals. And orange. I just can't get enough of it.

With South Louisiana summer right around the corner, and spring in full bloom, these rich, bold hues are showing up everywhere. But so are softer pastels.
That means you don't have to have a starburst of color this summer, but you need a little splash. And we found it in Cocodri's new line of colorful stingray cuffs.

A jewel of the sea often dubbed "immortal leather" because of its durability, the stingray skin is tanned and dyed and then superbly crafted right here in Lafayette into a flexible cuff. Stingray leather is among the most beautiful and exotic of skins, its texture resembling tiny round, rock hard pearls; you won't resist running your fingers across it. "It's just such an interesting skin," says Kiki Frayard of kiki in River Ranch, the exclusive retailer of the Cocodri cuffs.

Cocodri has been producing the cuffs for two years and just introduced several summer colors, including turquoise, coral, ivory and coffee bean. Many of the new summer shades take on a two-tone look, as the lining - a rich, canary-yellow Italian calfskin - barely peaks out from underneath the bracelet. Cocodri co-owner Mary Tutwiler says stingrays are not yet harvested for commercial use from the Gulf, but she'd like to see that happen. "I'm willing to explore it," she says. "I'd like to see a stingray industry develop here because of the local tannery [Reptile Tannery of Louisiana]."

Frayard also sees potential in developing a local industry that takes advantage of this exquisite resource. "All of the top designers are using touches of stingray," she says. "You see a lot of it on purse handles and clutches. The Cocodri cuff is a stylish and smart investment, because it lasts a lifetime and certainly won't ever be out of style."

The flexible bracelets, which start at $130, mold to any size wrist, Frayard says, and look great stacked with bangles or leather wraps. "People are also wearing them with their watches."

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