Rebecca Minkoff Talks Ignoring the Haters, Baby Clothes, and Store Plans


Rebecca Minkoff for Mark

Photos courtesy of mark

Rebecca Minkoff and her Delight bag for mark

Rebecca Minkoff subscribes to the "fake it till you make it" school of self-esteem. Even though the designer assured the crowd at the Mondrian SoHo in New York City last night to "just pretend before you walk in the room," there's no need for Minkoff to be falsely confident anymore. She built her quickly-expanding brand of handbags, jewelry, and clothes into a go-to line for the "downtown romantic" girl with just $10,000 saved from her bat mitzvah, babysitting jobs, and serving ice cream growing up, "My parents were like 'you're on your own if this is what you want to do. We're not funding this activity,'" she said.

At the Mondrian last night, Minkoff was toasting her new collaboration with mark, Avon's younger beauty and style offshoot, on the studded Delight bag. The new mom explained the inspiration behind the design to the assembled crowd: "I wanted to imagine our girl—she's a downtown romantic, that's what we call her, she either wants to live downtown or does live downtown, someone who is a discoverer of things and wants to be known for fashion and not for the real estate that she purchases with her bag. People sort of know my brand, my handbags, for studs—so I thought of introducing studs to the mark girl," she said.

Minkoff elaborated on how she gleans ideas for her collections: travel. Fresh off a trip to Paris, she says she spent her time "hunting through vintage fairs, museums—that usually starts where I get my color ideas from, whether the buckle on a belt becomes the buckle on a strap or the print that I see on a painting becomes the idea for a pair of pants. It all comes together when I begin to design but I like to soak up time in other places."

The designer is known for being incredibly accessible to her fans and consumers through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. "I've heard that I'm TMI sometimes but people also appreciate that you're so real," she said. But such online approachability can invite criticism too. "There's not been a lot of hating, there's been a lot of love, but when I have [haters], I don't really pay attention to it, because if they have that much time to hate on you for doing well or following your dreams, then they can get a life."

Minkoff also imparted the best style tip she's ever received: "If you can't walk in the shoes in your apartment, then don't leave the house with them."

FashionEtc caught up with Minkoff before cocktails. Spoiler alert: there might be a Rebecca Minkoff store coming our way in the near future!

You mentioned you're a "jacket girl" who prefers fall over spring. How do you dress for the warmer temperatures?
Good flats or cute little heels. I still wear jeans through the summer even though I sweat to death.

Congratulations on your son! How has having a child changed the way you're approached designing?
Fashion is still fashion, but I wanted to make things lighter in weight because I know: having a baby, if you have heavy bags, it's a pain in the butt.

Would you ever consider doing a baby line?
I would. In every interview when I'm asked this, I always say if someone comes to me, a baby brand that I love, and they want to help me do it, then I would love to do it. Baby clothes are really cute when they're baby versus adult clothes. I don't think there's enough of it. There's a lot of cutesy stuff…but I think when you can have a cute little jacket, not expensive. You don't need to be Gucci to have a little baby jacket.

You've built so much from the ground up. What's next for the Rebecca Minkoff brand?
We're continuing to just really solidify what we've launched. We're looking avidly for a store, for a space.

Great news for moms and edgy 20-somethings alike.

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