Heidi Minx, née Heidi Willis from Baltimore, is a hyphenate career extraordinaire. The marketing consultant, entrepreneur, do-it-yourself expert, artist, lifestyle fashion designer, DJ, author, advice columnist and one-woman public relations show redefines the word “career” with her expansive list of current professions.
“Gorgeous! I think we got it!” said Eric Vogel, the photographer at Minx’s recent cover shoot for Tattoos for Men.
The Minx, as she is often called, was clad in her signature look of a leather and rhinestone corset, fishnet tights, scarlet cat’s-eye glasses and the plethora of tattoos almost completely covering her arms and chest, posing beside her husband, Benjamin Lowe. She leaned seductively toward her husband as Vogel shot the couple on the roof of their East Village building. For the shoot, Minx’s entourage included plastic pet flamingos Pinky Lee and Pinky Sue, as well as friends Rosela J, the designated makeup artist, and Los Angeles-based pinup model Heidi Van Horne.
“Collaborating with Heidi is one of my favorite things,” said Vogel, another close friend of Minx’s who is an expert in environmental portraiture. “She knows what she wants, she’s a very driven woman and I am drawn to that. She’s high-energy and has a stylistic sense that is rarely seen nowadays.”
Spiritually, 35-year-old Minx is a devout Buddhist, seeking solace in the religion she credits with teaching her that the ego is the root of all evil and to take responsibility for her actions. She has also favored vegetarianism since childhood, ordering a bevy of Thai appetizers from her favorite neighborhood haunt, Pukk, during the shoot.
Minx gushed about her husband of almost six months, the 28-year-old Lowe. Lowe, who had a corporate job in Boston, is now a sky diving instructor sporting a mohawk that alternates between royal blue and red (it’s presently blue). The couple was introduced by friends and after they started sending messages via networking Web site Moli.com, they finally met in person and were engaged nearly two weeks later. “There’s not a lot of gray in my life,” said Minx. “Love is a really strong emotion, and if you experience it you just know it’s right, but I think part of it might be the Buddhism.”
This story first appeared in the October 1, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Minx was born with p.r. in her blood, crediting her family-run p.r. agency as the reason she went into the business after receiving a degree from Towson University in Maryland. In 2006, Minx was voted one of the 10 Most Influential Marketers of the Next Generation by Brandweek, the article likening her to an alternative Martha Stewart.
She is known chiefly for her work as a marketing consultant, with an emphasis on the teen demographic. Minx is also one of the founders of fashion lifestyle brand Franky & Minx. The six-year-old brand, with a recent relaunch in February 2007, uses colorful tattoo art, skulls, grommets and its logo on a multitude of clothing and accessories, thanks to a series of successful licensing deals inked on Minx’s behalf. Franky & Minx brand T-shirts, underwear, hosiery, wristbands, hats, handbags and belts can be found at such retailers as Claire’s and Spencer Gifts.
“With Franky & Minx, what it comes down to is that everything that has to do with the brand is very much the brand,” said Minx, who started hand-making underwear and tank tops for her company. “If you look at any market study now, it says that what actually sells and that what youth is into is anything that is authentic.”
Around two years ago, Minx, continually on a quest to educate American youth, created a do-it-yourself community called Punk Rock Domestics in order to expand the lifestyle aesthetic she created with Franky & Minx. Initially, she put up video interviews with her friends from the music and publishing industries on MySpace to give kids advice on how to break into each business, which then expanded to include tips from how to apply eye shadow to how to make stencils on PunkRockDomestics.com.
At a recent business meeting at Café Brama on Second Avenue, Minx met with friend Alan Robert, from the bands Life of Agony and Spoiler NYC, to discuss the upcoming ads that Robert is going to design for the Franky & Minx brand. In addition to being well-known in the music scene, Minx insisted that Robert is a brilliant graphic artist. Following the meeting with Robert, she had appointments with Quantum Licensing, the new partners that are helping Minx expand her empire to Europe, and Aquarius Ltd., Franky & Minx’s belt licensee. After reviewing templates for new leather and leather alternative belts, Minx hopped on a subway to pick up a Delia semi-hollow-body electric guitar from First Act Guitars that she was going to design with her personal touches: metallic gilding, stenciling, old music advertisements, découpaged plaid accents and Franky & Minx artwork. On her way back to her apartment to prepare for the upcoming Tattoos for Men shoot, Minx made a stop to the SoHo offices of YRB Magazine for a meeting with publisher David Ishay before returning to her place to get her hair and makeup done.
In between appointments, Minx made it a point to drop off her old Treo at the local Staples after receiving a BlackBerry Pearl as a gift from her husband the previous day. “Oh, they have a program that recycles and gives cell phones to women who can’t afford them so they can make emergency 911 calls,” she said matter-of-factly as she jumped on the 6 train for her next meeting.