Unlike many designers this season, Rebecca Minkoff decided to go forth with her in-person New York Fashion Week presentation. On Tuesday, on the rooftop at Spring Studios in New York, she showed her see-now, buy-now fall ’20 collection to small groups over the course of two hours.
“It was the right thing to do. You can only shut down society for so long,” she told FN. “It’s time to reopen, it’s time to rebuild and it’s time to get back to work. We can do this safely and prove that it’s possible.”
All safety precautions were upheld, including social distancing, from the moment I walked into the venue, up the elevators and during the event itself. All guests wore face masks and hand sanitizer was readily available, too. Being that this was one of the first in-person fashion events I’ve attended in six months, it was a surprise to me how normal it felt in these not-so-normal times.
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Influencers were still taking selfies, photographers lined Varick St. and people were wearing heels! Admittedly, Spring Studios was noticeably empty compared to seasons prior, but the will to continue on in tough times was notable. And once Minkoff decided to go forward with her presentation in May, she never wavered on her decision.
“I’ve been on over 100 hours of calls about how to pull this off and there was no turning back. The only way we would have was if [New York Governor Cuomo] decided to shut us down,” she said. “[But] everyone is in a different financial situation. I was only able to make this come to life through our partnership with Lowes so that was an incredible opportunity that I was given. Prior to that, this was only going to be a digital activation. However, between IMG, NYFW and Lowes coming into support the show I was like, ‘Let’s do it.’
For fall ’20, Minkoff was inspired by the boho rock girl, which she describes as the brand’s guiding North Star. To set the scene, the set was designed with New York City music haunts in mind. Models could be seen in a bar scene, a record room and on stage. Product included an array of boots, featuring croc print, buckles, combat styles and heeled lace-ups, among her signature moto jacket and shirts with voluminous sleeves and ruffle details.
In addition, the brand will launch new face-masks in two weeks, which match collection items, and are cut to order with biodegradable fabrics. A portion of the proceeds will go to the “Mask a Hero” non-profit.
As for the company, Minkoff said despite uncertainty in the industry due to the coronavirus, they are up in sales year-over-year.
“We’ve never pushed harder,” she added. “It just shows when you band together, when you focus and give your customer what she wants, you will succeed. It’s easy to say, but we put in the blood, sweat and tears to do that.”