Rebecca MinkoffRight after we arrived in NYC last week, Vlad and I checked in the hotel, spruced up, and were on our way to meet Rebecca Minkoff. Meeting the designer behind a handbag line that has a huge following was a little bit nerve-wrecking, yet Rebecca could not have been more down to earth. We got to the showroom before Rebecca made it, and perused her stunning spring/summer handbag line. I insisted that Vlad began to either jot down or make mental notes of the bags I had to have, the bags my family members had to have, and the bags that we would tell everyone they have to have. Touching the leathers, admiring the colors, and learning the designs is an easy task, when a handbag line is as gorgeous as Rebecca Minkoff’s. When Rebecca and her lovely PR gal Jill arrived, we all hit it off. We sat down to talk to Rebecca about how she got where she is today and where she plans on going. And while her handbag line is thriving, Rebecca still sees herself as an ordinary gal. Yet she is so much more than ordinary, as are her designs. We had the pleasure of interviewing Rebecca Minkoff to let you into fabulous designer that is going nowhere but up. Enjoy!

PB: Tell us about your start into the fashion world.

rebecca minkoff with jenna elfmanRM: I was a dancer throughout high school. My dance teachers told me that I was too tall, too long, and I threw out the symmetry. I couldn’t perform in any shows because of my height and my long arms, so they put me in the costume department. Because it was a performing arts high school, it was a very serious costume department and I started learning in depth how to make patterns, construct garments, and drape garments. At 17, I was not interested in college, and my brother knew Craig Taylor (a fashion designer) and called him up to get me an internship. At 18, I moved to NYC to begin this internship and I worked with Craig Taylor for two years. The CEO allowed me to work on my own clothing line when I had free time during the day.

PB: What was your big break?

RM: After 9/11 business picked up for me. By fluke I did a shirt that said “I Love New York” and I cut it up and made it funky and sent it to my friend Jenna Elfman on September 9th just for her to wear. She got it September 13th and she wore it on Jay Leno. He asked about the shirt and then it was everywhere. It was my jump start. My boss told me to leave my job and go start my own line because I was so busy creating this shirt.

Rebecca Minkoff Showroom   Rebecca Minkoff Showroom

PB: How did you transition to bags?

RM: Jenna Elfman is a family friend and called me up and asked if I wanted to do a bag for a film she was going to be in. I said sure, I’ll try a bag, and that bag was the Morning After Bag. Yet Fed Ex misdelivered and it did not get into the film. I made one for Jenna and one for myself and figured I would add it to the clothing line, it will just be one accessory. I had no intention of getting into bags. But then Daily Candy wrote about it and it just took off. So I stopped clothing because the demand for this bag was really strong and the clothing wasn’t at a point that I wanted it to be. So I switched to bags, only using the Morning After Bag and switching the color, but my showroom said I had to have more than one bag.

morning-after-bag1.jpg   morning-after-bag2.jpg

PB: Do you plan to branch out of handbags or get back into clothing?

RM: We are launching clothing for Spring ’09. We want to do some belts and we will eventually go into shoes but shoes will be the last stop.

PB: What design aspects are crucial to your collections? What do you emphasize on?

RM: I like my bags to be two toned, or add in a different trim. I like to have a playful take on my bags. My bags may be named after a girl or a story. Each season has a theme, and bags named after that theme. I think a girl can buy into an experience. In each bag, there is a card with a picture of a boy with a phone number, so that every girl has a number of a guy to call. It works too! You can call and leave messages to Vincent, who has a sexy French accent.

   

PB: What is your story for your spring line of handbags?

RM: Our story for spring is called Steady Love. She is going steady now with a boy (Steady bag).

PB: Who is your fashion icon? Or biggest influence?

RM: Jenna was so instrumental to me, just like a Fairy God Mother. I am always looking at Sienna Miller’s style and could see her wearing my bags.

rmshowroom5.jpg

PB: How do you picture the typical Rebecca Minkoff wearer?

RM: Some girls look at the bags and see a classic, but I think the girl is a mix of a little bit of a rocker and a girl that wants to take her bag anywhere. My bags are functional, fashionable, and a little bit edgy.

PB: Are celebrities carrying your bag a big focus/help?

RM: It has been a definite focus in the last 6-8 months. The more people we know and can get our bags too really helps get my name out there. Jessica Simpson, Hayden Panettiere, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson, Hilary Duff, Jenna Elfman, Debra Messing, and many more celebrities have been seen carrying my bags.

steady-1.jpg   steady-2.jpg

PB: What bag do you use every day?

RM: I use my Morning After typically. I have five of my own bags that are my staples. The Steady and the Rose are going to be my next ones. The Steady for everyday and the Rose for a great clutch.

PB: What do you tote in your bag all day?

RM: I have my Gucci sunglasses, my camera (that gets a LOT of use!), keys, mirror, my Blackberry to answer emails, my cell phone, three lip glosses, and some gum!

   

PB: What three things can you not live without?

RM: My boyfriend, shoes – since I only wear my bags I delve into shoes – and my Blackberry.

PB: Shoes, eh?

RM: I just bought a pair of Sergio Rossi heels while in Italy and they just have some amazing shoes right now.

lookbook1.jpg   lookbook2.jpg

PB: What is your ideal Saturday night?

RM: My boyfriend is a musician, so last Saturday he had a show. We watched him perform. We went and got great crepes downtown. And then we went to dinner with a bunch of friends and just stayed up and talked. Just something low key with my friends.

PB: Please tell us you like Nutella on your crepes?!

YES!

  

PB: What is your favorite hideaway in NYC?

We love going to Farmer’s Market at Union Square. And we love Freeman’s Alley. It has great decor, is a very homey type of environment. It is very rich food, but just an amazing place to go. I like the fact that you have to find it and walk down an alley to get to it.

PB: Thank you very much Rebecca, we loved chatting with you!

  

The interview finished and when we left Vlad and I both remarked that we felt like Rebecca was an old friend. This designer who has the world at her fingertips, has kept her feet on the ground. Her designs continue to flourish and her name continues to grow, but Rebecca is very confident in the person she is now and the person she wants to become. Thank you again to Rebecca Minkoff and Jill for setting up the interview.

Buy Rebecca’s bags at Shop Bop, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s or find out more at RebeccaMinkoff.com

*Make sure to click the photos to enlarge them*

  • MissTiss

    Great interview!

    • Owl’s Lab

      We just got in the Fuchsia “Morning After Mini” handbag pictured above at Owl’s Lab in New York City! Go to http://www.owlslab.com to pick it up online or call (212) 633-2672! We are also having a trunk show with Rebecca Minkoff on Saturday, April 19th 2008 with Rebecca. The store is located at 20 East 12th Street between 5th Avenue and University Place! RSVP at shop@owlslab.com!!

      xoxo Owl’s Lab

  • roussel

    OMG! Those bags are lovely! I cannot pick which one I like most, as I like them all, the design, the colors, all yummy!

  • Lindsey

    I am not sure if her bags are that great. It doesn’t show a lot of creativity and originality. They look like ideas from Balenciaga, Chloe and YSL.

  • Shawna

    Wow Lindsey! Its a good thing you have developed your critical ability to the point where you don’t have to try do design anything or be productive on your own. I think Rebecca is amazing.

  • Black Beauty

    I’m lovin’ the green bags!

  • Gina

    The interview was really informative and RM seems really nice. I have to say though, I prefer the OLD hardware on the Morning After, rather than this new-fangled hardware. It’s a bit much in my opinion.

  • Nirodha

    Most fashion designers are really nice people – unlike a lot of their customers. And, I know this from experience because I work in the industry.

    All the hype surrounding them, and their creations, is usually generated by the media and their marketing people.

  • http://www.shoppingsmycardio.com shoppingsmycardio

    what a great interview, guys – rebecca really is such a nice woman!! love all the pics of the new spring bags, too…such a great sneak peek! i’m coveting sooo many of them already!

  • Lindsey

    I know my bags. I own more than 50 designer bags! Take a closer look at some of pictures, the metallic bag, the black and grey bag, don’t they remind you of Balenciaga Twiggy and Motorcycle bags? The Yellow bag is very similiar to Chloe from a couple fo seasons ago. True designers create the trend, not follow the trend.

  • Shawna

    So I guess you are just a professional dilettante then Lindsay, well done.

  • http://thebaggageclaim.blogspot.com MKO

    Nutella on crepes! Yes! :lol: I just wanted to thank you guys for doing these meet the designer features. I’m always curious about the people who are behind the beautiful creations I drool over (and often, lose sleep over) so this is really great.

  • Sue

    I love the Grace bag of last season. I’m a businesswoman and can fit all of my files in it. And it is incredibly soft and light.

  • Sunshine

    WOW WOW WOW…Meg…Im so proud to be your friend. SO talented, and so honest. I love you.

  • Black Beauty

    How foolish and selfish of me, I totally forgot to mention what a great interview Megs and Vlad! :oops: :lol:

  • heidi

    the bags are horrendous
    not to mention bad copies of balenciaga.

  • Mina

    very cute bags great colors ! :roll:

  • Lindsey

    Oh my, someone actually agreed with me that they look like balenciaga knock offs! The true purse gurus know their bags! I raise my glass to you.

  • Piangco

    Does the sale include the morning after bag?

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs

      Yep it sure does!!! I ordered a morning after on sale :mrgreen:

  • Jean

    Beware of the RebeccaMinkoff.com. I tried to order two bags from there and wanted them rushed. They were horrible to deal with and not only did they list bags on their website that were no longer instock, but then I was charged and the bags weren’t even shipped 10 days later. After I was told they were going out, then a different bag was sold out again. I will NEVER order form them again. It was horrible!!!

  • kaytah

    I think the leather needs to be thicker and more supple for a real luxe grownup vibe. Nice for teenagers & college age tho’. Colors are yummy!

  • casa

    I have the morning after bag and I LOVE it…. it’s a perfect work bag for the young professional… totes are great, but it is an older look. Her leathers are delicious and the colors are different. Sure, it resembles the balenciaga, but that’s what fashion is, different interpretations of a trend.

  • Jahpson

    Wow, dance company are really picky people. Because I remeber I wanted to be a dance (I had danced from grade school up to high school) and I was told that I was too short.

    and now, Rebecca claims they didnt like her because she was too tall? my goodness.

    I really like her ideas, but her bags look so plain and original. I refuse to pay over $100 for a bag like that. sorry

  • Natalia

    Thanks for the wonderful Rebecca interview!

    While the shape of the Morning After Bags aren’t original, hardly anything is in fashion. I agree with casa that fashion is different interpretations of a trend.

  • Bia

    please do more articles like this about the not so famous designers! there are so many out there who, because they don’t have the pr connections, are never noticed.There must be a market out there for people who want something special that not everyone has…..or is there?

  • phoebe_0526

    Excellent interview.
    Thank you Megs and Vald to share this wonderful experience with us. I never notice this brand brand.
    I will definitely check the out from now on.

    Great job.

  • aj

    I also like this article. I bought the i love ny shirt on Funky lala.com years ago that she refers to in this article. Funky lala and Rebecca have worked together for years. I know they are selling her bags on Friday for 10% for black friday.

  • hoganfe

    great interview!

  • SaRA

    MEGS SURE DOES KNOW HOW TO GET WHOLESALE PRICES ON THESE BAGS, SHE PROBABLY BOUGHT A BUNCH OF THEM FOR HERSELF FOR 200$ A BAG.

  • AMBER

    LOVE THE RM NIKKI AND PLAN B. IN FACT I OWN 2 NIKKI BAGS AND THE CUSTOMER SERVICE I RECEIVED FROM THE RM WEB SITE WAS GREAT!!

  • GUNG

    Rebecca Minkoff bags are the best bags in the world, and to all the haters out there, SCRAM!

    Tell me where else you can get a classic, timeless satchel done in luxe leathers, beautiful colors, and elegant hardware for about $500 bucks?

    Yeah that’s what I thought!

    I love RM!

  • Sarah

    I swear Gung works for RM! I have seen her on other blogs and they all sound like an infomercial? Despicable! It’s so cheap and tacky like her bags!!!

    No self respecting woman would carry a bag named after an emergency contraceptive pill, so trashy!

    • Gung

      Thats OK Sarah, for whatever brand YOU like, I’m sure they’re just as trashy and tacky just like your face, too. =3 Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, etc. they are all an perfect description of complete and utter trash and tackiness. =) Because just admit it, you have horrible taste in bags so get over yourself. =) I bet you like bags along the lines of Betsey Johnson and Juicy Couture, all horrible trashy and tacky bags. Get a life loser, sheesh.

  • Wisdom

    I’m from Brooklyn NY, and we think that your hand bags are hot. There will alway be hater so stay unique. :lol:

  • Tengku Zabedah

    They are beautiful handbags.So many beautiful Handbags nowadays, and it is very hard to like just one brand.Yours are difficult not to own.

  • janey

    whoa. I can totally see Balenciaga in that last picture of the fuschia lex! It reminds me of the Bal wallets. And the Steady does look a lot like the Twiggy bags yes. Then again, many designers today (even Coach) are copying other people anyway. What gives.

  • azrinalisa

    Hye LISA from Dubai U.A.E and I’m interested to purchase morning after bag in blue lux. Please let me know how is the procedure to buy direct with RM?? I’ve called the number on RM sites but it seem none of them is working please email me for replies. TQ . I am BIG FAN OF RM..

  • Tere

    Walking around Nordstrom’s Rack, I spotted this amazing black satchel, all soft, and lux-like. Picked it up, opened it up, read the name , and HAD TO HAVE IT!!!! Never heard of Rebecca Minkoff, just knew it was a quality bag, made of wonderful leathers, and not one of the hundreds of cookie-cutter bags out there. I proudly own two Louis Vuittons, and one Balenciaga, and now one Rebecca Minkoff!!! Thank you!

  • Angie

    There are Rebecca Minkoff’s on Bloomingdales, and they are 40% off so check it out if you guys are interested…Sale ends today!!

  • Mary

    I was on holiday in NYC from Australia and I specially made a visit to Rebecca Minkoff shop to purchase a bag for a significant amount of money when I overheard a customer say that they don’t pay their suppliers. I then decided not to buy the bag as I am in business myself and understand the consequences of people like her when they dont pay their suppliers the damage they do to the industry is horrific. All I can say is pay up Rebecca.

  • Gossip Girl

    Can you provide more information on this? sincerely

  • Designer

    Thanks for the valuable information!

  • Jelita78

    omg~
    she is sooo gorgeous and down to earth!
    never know such trait exist in designers today.
    hope she stays this human forever!
    wuhuuu!! way to go rebecca!! (ipad)