LONDON — Rebecca Minkoff is setting her sights on overseas expansion in Europe and Asia.
The designer made her European retail debut with a shop in Venice with her local partner TODO, a venture between Tomorrow London Ltd. and Doro Group Srl.
“We have really beautifully made products exclusive to Europe,” said Minkoff during a brief visit to London earlier this month. “We have a great business with Selfridges and Fenwick. We’re just continuing to take everything we’ve done that’s amazing in the States and bring it to Europe — but more special and more exclusive.”
In London, she has launched a range of exclusive bag styles, a cross-body, mini-messenger, camera and clutch in shades of sapphire, clementine and sky blue. Prices range from 200 pounds to 400 pounds. It will be sold at Selfridges, Fenwick and Coggles.com.
During the interview, she pointed to Asia and the U.K. as key markets for the brand.
“London is a city that’s much like New York,” said Minkoff. “It’s a global city and it has local people, but also international tourism. For us, it’s another sort of stronghold that the rest of the world looks to for fashion, so we really want to have a large presence. We have and do it different than in the States because we are so large there, so we want to make it special and thoughtful.”
Minkoff said she’d eventually like Europe to become 20 percent of the business. It now accounts for about 5 percent.
Another market in Minkoff’s sights is Mainland China. “We’ve just signed a partnership for a distributor there for stores, so that will be big for the fourth quarter,” said the designer, who already has three units in Hong Kong.
In an effort to connect with consumers, Minkoff plans to launch a podcast in September that will touch on fashion and nonfashion topics. The designer, who launched the “Superwoman” series on her web site three years ago, said she is tired of “the insular fashion community” and wanted to try for more inclusivity, camaraderie and support with a digital component.
As part of the podcast, the designer plans to switch into journalist mode and interview her subjects. She said her strategy won’t be to ask the usual questions, “like ‘Where do you get your style from?’ and ‘What book are you reading? or Who helped you?’ I want to try to peel back other informational layers that I hope my listener will find interesting.”