Chances are you’ve spotted a Rebecca Minkoff handbag on the arms of Hollywood starlets such as Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, Jessica Simpson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port. Born in San Diego, California, the designer launched her eponymous clothing line in 2001 but it wasn’t until her fellow friend and actress Jenna Elfman requested her to design a handbag for her subsequent role that the now-infamous Morning After Bag was born.
We gabbed with the New York-based designer on life pre-fame, Miami musts and more.
What kind of jobs did you have to “pay the bills”? I’ve always worked in fashion, either as an intern, stylist or designer.
How did you discover your passion for design? I started sewing at age 8. I really wanted a new dress, but my mom bought me fabric and a sewing machine instead. I fell in love with design and have been sewing and designing ever since.
Your Morning After handbag put you on the fashion map, how did it come to be? I was asked by Jenna Elfman to design a handbag for her next movie, which became the Morning After Bag. I wasn’t initially intending to do much with handbags and then a friend of mine at Daily Candy wrote about it and it’s really been non-stop from there.
What makes your handbags so unique? My bags are classic designs that won’t go out of style. I love playing with embellishments, but don’t let them define the bag. Most of my bags are also meant for day-to-night use, so they are perfect for women with busy lifestyles.
Many people associate your brand with solely handbags, but you design clothing, too. Describe the line for those not-in-the-know: Some of my favorite pieces in the line are fun cocktail dresses, leather jackets and pleated skirts. The pieces have some ‘90s inspiration, but with modern tailoring. Most of all, they are just really wearable, great clothing.
You have a massive celeb following. Who would you love to spy carrying your bag next? I would love to see Kate Moss and Sienna Miller with one of my bags.
What does the word “Miami” make you think of? Sunshine and parties!
What do you adore most about Miami? The beach.
Where do you like stay when in town? The new W South Beach.
What are some closet staples every South Florida gal should have? Sundresses, bright-colored bathing suits and sunscreen!
What is the biggest fashion faux pas in your book? Over-accessorizing. If you have a loud purse, there is no reason to have six necklaces, four bracelets and big earrings on. Sometimes less is more.
Which other designers do you love? Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone, Nicholas K and Loeffler Randall.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be? Dancing. I took dance classes all through school.
Shoes: Loeffler Randall
Scent: Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanilla scent
For more information on the Saks Dadeland event, call (305) 662-8655.