Thursday, September 22, Neiman Marcus (Domain in Austin, TX) hosted a long awaited “sign & shop” event with Rebecca Minkoff; an industry leader in casual luxury handbags, accessories, shoes, and apparel. Rebecca Minkoff’s playful and subtly edgy designs can be spotted on women everywhere from downtown to uptown, in the US and abroad. Success is a family trademark as Rebecca runs her multi-million dollar company with her brother Uri Minkoff (CEO).
People often ask “were they nice?” anytime I meet a celebrity. The answer is “yes”. I had the pleasure of speaking with the bag-goddess herself while she was preparing for the event; I was received so warmly.
Rebecca graciously took time out of her hectic schedule to chat with me for a brief Q&A:
Michelle Washington: When you moved from San Diego to New York, how old were you and how did that make you feel? Rebecca Minkoff: That was scary. I was 18 and it was beyond scary. After moving, I had three years of living in New York, finding my way, finding my group of friends, and getting settled in a job.
MW: In 2005, you took a stab at designing handbags and the “Morning After Bag” was born (designed for friend Jenna Elfman, actress of “Dharma & Greg”), to great success. How were you feeling at this early stage of your career? Is the MAB still one of your favorite bags? Rebecca Minkoff: I felt like thank God! I was working very hard for 4 years feeling like I was swimming upstream. To finally get a breakthrough on something and have the consumer embrace it and the media love it was exciting, the feeling that all my hard work paid off. The bag still has a huge place in my heart and I’m starting to get a lot of request to bring it back.
MW: Are all of your handbags still produced in the USA; constructed in all Italian leather? Rebecca Minkoff: About ten percent is still made in New York, the rest is overseas. We still use some Italian leather, but we have really great sourcing where we can get leather goods from around the world. At the end of the day, quality is and also affordability to my customer.
MW: Does it remain your goal to become a complete lifestyle brand for the fashion-forward female? Rebecca Minkoff: My focus for the brand now is there are significant moments in a woman’s life; a lot of important experiences that a woman goes through (the first day on the job, the first time she quits, the first time she ask for a raise…etc.). We are the brand that you when you want to be more fearless in your choices and take the road not taken.
MW: Do you believe your customer has grown with your product? Rebecca Minkoff: For sure, the fact that I have an open and honest dialogue with our consumer since the beginning. A constant back and-forth dialogue especially through all areas of social media. We are continuing to expand internationally which is no small feat!
Whether you’re a New Yorker, a New Yorker at heart, or a fierce Fashionista…think fondly of your life moments when you see the Rebecca Minkoff label, because she is always thinking of you.