Rebecca Minkoff is determined to get it right when it comes to sportswear.
Although the New York-based designer’s handbag collection remains a consistent bestseller in 300 specialty stores, apparel has been another story. After about four years at retail, Minkoff closed her contemporary line in 2005.
“I was a one-woman show and I couldn’t handle it all myself,” she said. “It became too much for me to do bags and clothes.”
Believing she would eventually get back into apparel, Minkoff said she waited until she had a stronger infrastructure to support a bigger business. Then, her friend, Los Angeles-based celebrity stylist Ilaria Urbinati, stepped in, hoping to collaborate on the design of a line.
When Urbinati was in New York for a visit, the friends sat on the floor of Minkoff’s apartment and put together a collection of tailored double-knit cotton dresses, supersoft leather jackets, brocade trenchcoats with leather piping, high-waisted pencil skirts and low-cut blouses.
Minkoff said they were inspired by Elizabeth Taylor in the Fifties and the darkness of the 1982 film “Blade Runner.” It was also important, Minkoff said, to incorporate strong hardware and details seen in her handbags — such as the gold buttons on a blouse and the leather panels on a silk top. The collection is jacket-heavy, which was also important to Minkoff.
“There are days where I don’t like my outfit, so I just throw on a jacket and feel like I have a better look,” she said.
Urbinati agreed: “I love that the trenchcoat is so beautiful that it can be worn with a dress on a red carpet, which my clients will love.”
In addition to being a stylist, Urbinati owns the Los Angeles-based specialty store Confederacy, which carries Minkoff’s handbag collection as well as designs from Roland Mouret, Proenza Schouler and Etro.
“With Ilaria’s background and my design experience, it was a no-brainer for us to collaborate,” Minkoff said.
Launching for spring, the first collection will be sold exclusively at Confederacy and on rebeccaminkoff.com. That will allow the partners to test the line before opening it up to wholesale, Urbinati said. After becoming available to high-end specialty store buyers with the fall line, the collection will be based in Minkoff’s Manhattan showroom at 33 West 17th Street. The handbags will continue to be based out of the Cynthia O’Connor showroom at 141 West 36th Street.
“I credit Cynthia with a lot of the success we’ve had with the bags,” Minkoff said. “But I really want to keep a close eye on the clothing and I don’t want it to be everywhere. I want it to be special, exclusive and in demand.”
The Rebecca Minkoff contemporary sportswear line is manufactured in New York, which Minkoff said she will always do. It wholesales from $70 for a zip-down racer-back tank to $335 for a trench. She said she expects to reach about $2 million in first- year sales volume at wholesale.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty