At only 18 years old, Rebecca Minkoff moved to New York City to chase her dream of becoming a fashion designer. Now, nine years after the introduction of her iconic Morning After Bag, she continues to please fans with her trusty totes and satchels. We talked to Minkoff about her latest collection and the evolution of her label into a lifestyle brand.
Shopbop: Your break into the fashion industry came with the introduction of your “I Love New York” tee in 2001. What inspired your shift in focus from apparel to handbags? And then what brought you back to apparel in 2009?
Rebecca Minkoff: I had made the MAB—my first handbag—for a friend, and I got a lot of positive feedback from editors and stores so I gave it my all, concentrating fully on that one style. By 2009, I was ready to dive back into my first passion: ready-to-wear.
SB: What makes a Rebecca Minkoff bag special?
RM: All of our bags are very thought out—we focus not only on the exterior details but the interior as well. It’s important for me to have a staff member wear the bag and tell me how they liked carrying it. Was it comfortable, how was the strap, were there enough pockets, and so on. The functionality of a bag is just as important to me as the design.
Rebecca Minkoff cross-body bags.
SB: How did you decide to introduce shoes and other accessories into your line?
RM: We wanted to keep evolving Rebecca Minkoff into a full lifestyle brand. Shoes and jewelry are important accessory categories that allow you to express your personal style.
SB: If you could design a bag for any woman in history, who would it be and why?
RM: Coco Chanel. Wouldn’t that be something!
SB: You started your own label at the age of 21 and worked your way from the ground up. What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
RM: Keep at it. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
SB: Which bag from your collection do you believe belongs on every woman’s arm this spring?
RM: The Finn Clutch certainly lends itself to this spring’s big fringe trend.
Shop Rebecca Minkoff handbags.