Rebecca Minkoff is known for her love of the big city — whether it be Chicago, New York or beyond. After revamping the “I Love New York” T-shirt in 2001 and becoming an overnight sensation and industry leader, the fashion designer and New York native continues to spread the love through luxury handbags, stylish accessories and modern apparel. We chatted with the self-proclaimed “downtown romantic” designer — who was in town visiting her Chicago store for the first time since its opening last year — to talk holiday shopping advice and trends for 2018.
Who is the Chicago audience you’re tapping into? The audience is the savvy woman who’s into fashion. She’s the ambassador of fashion to the entire Midwest, really. This is a really important city for us, so I wanted to come and show that I’m here and I’m excited and really support the store.
How do you strike a balance between trendy and timeless? The key is to make sure you don’t throw too much on a bag. Pick a fabric that doesn’t feel like something you’re going to get sick of; [my consumer] wants [a bag she’ll] wear for a long time.
What’s one shopping trend we could all live without? The Kardashian glitter body paint.
You got into fashion largely because your mom made you sew all your dresses growing up. You have two kids and now expecting your third — how are you instilling that same work ethic in them? I want [them] to put in [effort] around the house if they want something. When they help out, [I try to] really recognize it: “Thank you for helping, that was really good.” Or if you want a toy, you need to do X. My son really gets it. If he wants something, I’m like, “Find six things around the house you’re going to do to help.”
What trend should people keep in mind while shopping for next year? Studs, glitter and fur.