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.”
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye