Rebecca Minkoff wants to become the face in front of the name. The contemporary accessories designer is coming out from behind her studded handbags to connect with customers and grow her business.
With 50 percent growth year-over-year and a sales goal of $30 million in the next three years, Minkoff feels her signature brand is hitting its stride. Known for adorning young, fashion-forward consumers with colorful handbags and clutches ranging from $195 to $595, the firm is building a fan base through social-media tools, including online videos and Web blogs. It recently took sales in-house and launched new categories, such as customized bridal bags and apparel.
In today’s economy, Minkoff finds it increasingly important to build a personal relationship with consumers and retailers. She joins other accessories designers who have recently taken to the blogosphere, such as Anna Sheffield, designer of Bing Bang/Anna Sheffield Jewelry, and Jessie Randall, president and creative director at Loeffler Randall.
“We asked ourselves, ‘How we can better drive attention to consumers to help push them into the stores?’” Minkoff said. “We want to use social media to understand what our customer wants as well as help our retailers. We want to ensure that our product sells and we want to work with our retailers as much as we can.”
In addition to operating her own Facebook and Twitter pages, Minkoff recently launched Minkette.com, a social networking site where she and her friends share their favorite pastimes, city dwellings or cool events happening around town. The site enlisted close to 5,000 members in its first 10 days. Minkoff also uses the site to chat one-on-one with customers and post editorial and celebrity clippings. In May, a photograph was snapped of Lauren Conrad wearing Minkoff’s Studded Rocker bag. The next day, Minkoff sold 300 bags to her top accounts.
Minkoff is also solidifying her relationship with retailers after breaking ties with the Cynthia O’Connor showroom earlier this month and taking sales in-house. Now at the helm of her business, Minkoff is focused on launching exclusives with her top accounts, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Shopbop.com and Bloomingdale’s, where she’ll operate a pop-up shop during New York Fashion Week in September.
“We loved Cynthia and the showroom and have nothing but positive things to say, but it was a decision that we needed to make to help build our brand,” said Ori Minkoff, Rebecca’s brother and chief executive officer of the firm. “We realized we needed to own that relationship with stores and have them get to know Rebecca.”
With a capsule apparel collection bowing for spring and a full range coming in fall 2010, Minkoff’s intentions extend beyond handbags. The designer created a small belt and bracelet line for holiday and will bow a customized bridal bag collection, “I Do,” in September. The four bridal styles retail between $195 and $215. She foresees penning a licensed shoe agreement in the next three years. But for now, Minkoff is focused on her handbags and on her customers, with whom she plans to keep in close contact.
“When there’s turmoil and chaos in the market, and when old things stop working, you need to seize the moment and become a leader,” Minkoff said. “We are intent on remaining a stable point for retailers and becoming a leader in the contemporary, luxury space.”
Yesterday, the Parisian fashion house @azzaro_official cut the ribbon on a temeporary retrospective at the wing of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The exhibition, which shows the lasting influence of the brand’s founder Loris Azzaro, is titled “Azzaro, Fifty Sparkling Years” and presents 50 looks. In it’s ’70s heyday, fans of the brand included Jane Birkin, pictured here, Raquel Welch, Brigitte Bardot and more. See more photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@trinaturk and @macys Inc International Concepts line are linking up on a collection for summer — filled with accessories, swimwear and shoes. The collection will also include a Mr Turk men’s line, both of which are the designer’s first entry into a more accessibly priced area. “It’s very world-traveler, gypset-inspired,” said Turk. The Trina Turk x INC line will launch on May 15th. #wwdfashion
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge