Rebecca Minkoff began her eponymous label in 2001 with a five-piece capsule collection. She gained attention in 2005 after she designed the Morning After Bag – her bags are named after “the stages of love”. Minkoff relaunched womenswear in 2009, focusing on boho, feminine styles with a rock chick edge. Today the brand is known for its edgy accessories, and stud detailing is a signature aesthetic, and is stocked by more than 900 retailers worldwide, among them Selfridges in the UK and US department store, Nordstrom. Contributor, Hayley Corwick sits down with the designer at her New York Fashion Week launch of ‘I am Many’ to discuss the brand and the idea behind it.
HC: For one who’s always put females first, how do you think that’s contributed to the brand’s success?
RM: It’s only natural that once I got moving that it was time to pay that forward. I know it’s been part of my success but I have no way to quantify it.
HC: Who are some of your female mentors or women that you admire?
RM: I want to get rid of the idea that we have to have mentors. A woman who inspires me is Jessica Alba as an entrepreneur and founder of a company. She has really put in the blood, sweat and tears into her company. She is a mom of three. She is someone that I’m always like, “Yeees.”
HC: What way has the Minkoff girl changed over the years and how?
RM: I think the Minkoff girl originally liked me for my bags. That’s what I started with and then we grew up together. I was the same age as my customer and then I know that I can’t forget who I was at 27 and who I was at 23. I want to make sure that the young people that are just about to buy their first bag that I am that person for them. So I really have taken it back and grown for those who are 45 and older.
HC: Do you think it’s hard to speak to the 27-year-old girl now and the 45-year-old woman?
RM: I think you have to offer different products. The messaging is very much the same because as woman and as multi-faceted woman, we are all hitting these milestones. You know you’re about to hit it or you’re close and you’re seeing other people around you hit it. So I think it allows for more inclusivity.
HC: What’s your goal with the ‘I Am Many’ campaign?
RM: What I would really love is if more people would share the different sides of themselves. That they are embolden and more confident because if you’re just by yourself doing one thing and you fail, you think, “I suck.” If today you think ‘I was a great mom but a shitty boss,’ ‘Yesterday I was a great athlete but a shitty mom,’ then you can take confidence in the things you are good at and lean on those.
HC: Since you’ve started, how as the culture of fashion changed for women?
RM:It’s more inclusive. Not inclusive enough when it comes to race, color, opportunities. I think that conversation is just starting and needs to get a lot stronger.
HC: So what’s next?
RM: I launch my podcast on September 18th. I thought you just had to flip a switch and say, ‘talk to me’ but it’s so much work. It’s more work than I ever imagined but it’s really fun. When you have been doing the same thing for 13-years, it’s really fun to do something new and learn something.
HC: Isn’t it hard to start a new project when you’re already stretched for time?
RM: I think that’s where the team comes in. I think not enough woman can admit that they have a whole team that helps them. I am very vocal that I am able to do so many things because I have a whole team. I am able to leave the office because someone says, “I got this, you go ahead.” You don’t have any more hours in the day than I do but I have more brick layers.