For Rebecca Minkoff, the modern woman has always been — and continues to be — her muse.
Meanwhile, her fashion label continues to expand and connect with new audiences. In September, the brand debuted a size-inclusive collection with Stitch Fix, and Minkoff had a powerful presentation at New York Fashion Week that represented all types of women in the workspace.
Since 2005, the New York-based designer has focused on products that are both practical and fashion-forward to meet the needs of busy lives. Take, for example, her Morning After Bag, the first accessory Minkoff launched in her 20s that became a staple for young women.
Today, her business involves not only crafting accessories, footwear and apparel but also producing a series of female-focused initiatives that empower women beyond the fashion world.
And for those efforts, she’ll be honored tomorrow with the 2019 Designer of the Year award at the QVC Presents “FFANY Shoes on Sale” gala in New York.
FN caught up with Minkoff last month to talk about the honor bestowed on her by the Fashion Footwear Association of New York and what inspires her work for women in every medium.
FN: How does it feel to be recognized as the Designer of the Year at FFANY Shoes on Sale?
Rebecca Minkoff: “It’s a huge honor. In a career, you always hope for certain milestones to happen. So to be recognized in this capacity feels phenomenal.”
Do you have a personal connection with the breast cancer cause?
RM: “Both my aunts and my grandmother had it and survived it. I have a first cousin who survived it as well. So as a relative of survivors, I’m passionate about the topic. It’s important for women to be as knowledgeable as possible and continue to get checked.”
Looking back at the past year, what do you see as your biggest accomplishments?
RM: “Getting this award would definitely be one of them. Also, my presentation at New York Fashion Week [in September] was a really special show. It featured vignettes of the modern working woman, including a nursing mom. It was special — although, sadly; it really shouldn’t feel special in 2019 [to show a woman nursing], but it was. It’s also been a year since I launched my podcast. It’s been great to celebrate guests like Katie Couric, Laura Brown and other women who have incredible platforms. And then the launching of Female Founder Collective, which I talk about a lot. It’s grown to over 5,000 members, and the seal [we created to recognize female-led brands] is now on over 2 million products. So being able to have an impact on women and their businesses is really special too.”
How has your passion for designing for women evolved throughout the years?
RM: “I think that because I’m the same age and sex as my consumer, going through new life moments, [naturally that] broadens the horizon of my designs.”
You recently debuted a collaboration with Stitch Fix that is size-inclusive. Why did you decide to work on that project?
RM: “This was my first time offering sizes bigger than 12. We wanted to do it for a while, but we needed a partner that had the data and ability to execute it in the way that needed to be done. So when [Stitch Fix] came to us with the opportunity, we were excited to see what the possibilities could be.”
Looking ahead, what is your focus for 2020?
RM: “We just announced that we’re launching fragrance at the end of next year, and we’re potentially launching some other categories. But I can’t talk about it yet. So we’re focusing on those initiatives and just continuing to be innovative in the categories we’re already in.”
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