Designer Spotlight: Rebecca Minkoff

Her pieces are college girl favorites, but do you know her story?
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Her pieces are college girl favorites, but do you know her story?

Beginnings

The designer

The Designer (Source: Elle)

Intrigued by the costume department in her high school, a young Rebecca Minkoff moved to NYC at the age of 18 to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer. Today, her bags and apparel are everywhere, and are especially popular with the college crowd.

Let's take a look at Rebecca's journey from a teen with a dream to bona fide fashion phenom:

Rebecca Minkoff's Rise to Fame

Rebecca Minkoff's fashion journey started with an "I Love New York" t-shirt. In 2001, she designed one and it was featured on The Tonight Show when Jenna Elfman wore it for an interview. Rebecca became an overnight sensation as orders for the shirt came rushing in. 

Rebecca designed her first bag, the M.A.B. (or "morning after bag"), in 2005. It was another instant hit, and it inspired her "downtown romantic" themed designs. 

Bags

Rebecca Minkoff Website Ad 

After accessories, she soon moved on to apparel. In 2009, Rebecca launched her first ready-to-wear collection. 

Aesthetic-wise, her designs are playful and subtly edgy - think boho dresses and leather jackets, and pretty bags with studs on top.

Today, Rebecca Minkoff has three domestic retail stores, two international locations, and her brand is sold in over 900 stores, including Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom.

Retail to Runway

These days, Rebecca Minkoff is a notable participant in fashion's hottest trend of all - runway to retail. Rather than show spring collections in fall, for instance, as fashion tradition dictates, Minkoff prefers a "see now, buy now" approach. 

Throughout the Designer Spotlight series, we've discussed how important innovation is, and how it defines a company. In Minkoff's case, innovation paid off big. The company reported that sales grew 200 percent after she switched approaches to the "see now, buy now" strategy in 2015. 

During this New York Fashion Week, Minkoff used this approach again, showing her Fall 2016 collection. She shut down Greene Street, right outside her NYC flagship store. The street acted as her collection's fashion show venue, giving street style a whole new meaning. 20 minutes after the show, her shop was open to the public and sold clothing that the models had just worn. 

Minkoff said, 

“I have 15 minutes of the world's attention, so lets focus that energy on something that’s actual. You can see in her response, her being my consumer, that’s what she wants.” 

Interested? You can watch - and shop! - the off-the-runway collection here. 

Your Thoughts?

Do you own anything from Rebecca Minkoff? Do you like her designs? What do you think of the "see now, buy now" approach? Do you prefer traditional runway shows? What designer would you like to see under the spotlight?