Interview by Hal Rubenstein, Gabriel Global Style Director

Rebecca Minkoff believes in taking risks. Because she knew she always wanted to design, she skipped college and headed straight for New York, where she knew no one. She started her business on a shoestring and then brought her brother in when her first collection started to click. Minkoff embraced social media long before most designers put any faith in power of online sales. She built her business without big moments on the red carpet, but with constant posting on Instagram of her easy, street savvy fashion. The result is a collection that looks fresh, accessible, wearable, breezy and absolutely right for this brand-new moment in time.

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You were one of the first designers to establish a strong online presence. Why did you trust online so early?

We didn't have a choice, we built this brand with no outside capital, or funding and knew that to succeed we needed to be directly in touch with our consumer.

Do people exhibit different habits and tendencies when they shop online?

They become more explorative with the items they add to their carts. They begin to get off on taking chances.

How has being able to shop for everything online changed the way people dress?

Being online gives customers more access to styles or trends that they may not have tried because in the store you just see items on a hanger while online you can see items on people with all different shapes and sizes.

Accessories add that extra special touch to an outfit. And having versatile accessories are invaluable when building a diverse, adaptable wardrobe which includes jewelry. —Rebecca Minkoff

So, is there still any advantage to shopping in store?

Feeling a garment's fabrication or an accessory's construction are some of the biggest advantages! It's very hard to tell the quality of a garment or product online, even with a detailed description.

Where do you look for inspiration? What is your favorite element of the design process?

Before the pandemic, I used to love travel but during the last two years I've had to do a lot of living vicariously online. But I am blessed because there are also so many inspiring women who surround me that I take inspiration from daily.

Do you design for the customer in your head, or to please yourself?

It's a combination of both. You must take into consideration our customer demographic and the items that sell best when designing. It's motivating to see where the Rebecca Minkoff girl is going and who she is evolving into. But of course, I want to love the designs myself! After all, I wear them every day.

Coming out of the pandemic, what do you think customers learned about how they want to dress going forward?

Think everyone was able to learn more about expressing themselves more freely in the pandemic. Frankly, I think many of us are done with only being comfortable! Surprisingly, people are taking more risks when it comes to expressing their own style. They want to be noticed.

What advice would you give someone who is trying to find their individual look?

I would tell them to try a few different styles, including ones that out of the box for them. Just go for it! Experience the way different items fit. Then you can see more of what works and what doesn't work and start to branch out.

What kind of silhouettes do you always trust?

A great cropped leather jacket, a pair of straight leg jeans, and some killer boots.

When you travel what can't you be without?

Never leave home without my Janine sweater!

How essential are accessories in building a wardrobe you can enjoy?

Accessories add that extra special touch to an outfit. And having versatile accessories are invaluable when building a diverse, adaptable wardrobe.

"I'm one who believes good jewelry is forever." —Rebecca Minkoff

What kind of jewelry do you wear? What kind do you give?

I'm one who believes good jewelry is forever. I have some classics that don't ever leave my body, especially gifts from my husband.

What kind of clothing/accessories/jewelry always make you happy?

Not surprisingly, it's always something that involves a risk, something that makes me go "can I do this?" When I take that chance, I always get the most compliments.

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