Monday, October 01, 2007

shoppingsmycardio interview: rebecca minkoff

i have been absolutely busting at the seams to share this with you all. the completely fabulous rebecca minkoff recently agreed to take a few minutes out of her incredibly busy schedule to chat with us about her gorgeous handbags, her background and her designs.

for those who aren't familiar, rebecca's designs shot to fame a couple of years ago when her 'morning after' bag hit the market. the bag made instant icon status, and has been seen literally everywhere since. (i own the absolutely stunning royal blue/basketweave version, which is still my favorite bag in my collection!)

before we get to the interview, i do just have to gush for a moment about rebecca's bags. you all know i'm something of a snob when it comes to handbags...i'm about as hard to please as they come. i tend to be a little nervous about trying out new designers, because i can be really picky about details: quality of leather, attention to detail, all of these little things are really what make or break a bag for me. but the moment i had the 'morning after' in my hands, i knew it was fabulous. the leather is more supple than bags i own that cost twice as much, and the color is unbelievably rich and lush - scratches on this bag just vanish. the lining is gorgeous, and the hardware is incredibly well-made. i can promise you this: for the price, you won't find a better-made handbag out there.

okay, off we go!

ShoppingsMyCardio: How did you get started designing handbags? Tell us your story!

Rebecca Minkoff: I started designing clothing at 18 and began my handbag line with my signature Morning After Bag in 2004. My friend, Jenna Elfman, was starring in a movie a few years ago, and she wanted me to design a bag for the film, and that’s how it began. Then, as the bag became more and more popular, I added the Morning After Mini and the Nikki bag. The bags just took off and now I have 6 collections and about 20 different styles.

SMC: I love the fact that your bags have such classic, timeless shapes, but really modern details and touches – to me, it’s the blend of the two aesthetics that makes your designs so special. I can tell you really think through your designs before you bring them to fruition. Can you tell me a little bit about your design process?

RM: I believe in the little details that make things unique, whether it is a handbag or a piece of clothing. For Spring 2008, my line is full of details, with custom hardware and some custom leathers from Italy. I want people to appreciate that these bags are handmade here in NYC and are versatile enough to fit every girl’s lifestyle.

SMC: What is your favorite bag from the new collection, and what do you love most about it?

RM: It would have to be the new ‘Matinee’ bag; it is the bag everyone is talking about. This bag is amazing and so different than any other handbag. It’s fun, and it has a little bit of attitude. The bag has two hidden pockets (zippers covered by reversible flaps) on either side, to hold all of those unmentionables.

SMC: What style icon do you really admire?

RM: Twiggy!

SMC: The last few years have been amazingly successful for you. What’s next for your label? Do you see yourself branching out into other areas of design in the future, or are you a handbag girl at heart?

RM: As a matter of fact, we are actually designing our own scarf that will be on all our Spring of 2008 bags. In the future we will also be focusing on designing a charm to go with each individual bag, so every bag has a gift with purchase. Also, I plan to get back into clothing in the coming seasons, and by next year a shoe line. And I'm working on a project with Momoberry by Sanrio, where I designed 4 bags that will be debuted at Sanrio’s birthday party this Fall.

SMC: What handbag are you carrying today?

RM: I currently am carrying my new bag, the Steady in black…it’s hot and very light!

SMC: How would you describe your personal style? Tell us about your favorite, no-fail outfit.

RM: J Brand Jeans, Alisha Levine blouse, my brown riding boots and a great trench by Nicholas K.

SMC: What one style secret do you wish you could teach every woman out there?

RM: When the butt of your jeans gets loose from wash and wear, take it to a tailor and have him put in darts on the sides – it’s an instant butt lift!
as if the interview weren't enough, rebecca has given us a sneak peak at one of the newest designs from her upcoming spring 2008 collection. the bag is called the 'steady', and i'm so confident this one's going to be as sought after as the 'morning after' that i'm getting on the pre-order list pronto! check out the picture above, and in the teaser post from friday. gorgeous!

rebecca, thank you so, so much for taking time out to talk with us! and a huge thank you to your staff as well - literally every single person i've talked with over at camp minkoff has been nothing but sweet, responsive and just generally fabulous!