Handbag designer Rebecca Minkoff has offered some pearls of wisdom for those wishing to break into the fashion industry - but you’re not going to like it.
Taking the ‘you have to be cruel to be kind’ approach, Minkoff exclusively told HuffPost UK she believes our culture of instant gratification has left young people believing they don’t need to work hard to achieve their dreams.
When asked what advice she would give to those looking to break into the fashion industry, as she did herself in 2001, Minkoff said:
“We are in an era where too many young people who think that because they can click an Uber, click to order something from Amazon, think that a career will be built the same way basically.”
Instead of taking this attitude, Minkoff, who is Creative Director and co-founder of her self-titled fashion empire, advised people to “prepare to work hard and work for a long time” in order to fulfil their dreams.
“That success does not happen overnight. And it’s just something you have to continue to work for, it’s years of work, it’s not days or months of work,” the 36-year-old added.
Born in California, Minkoff moved to New York when she was 18 years old and was propelled into the spotlight several years later when her ‘I Love New York’ tee appeared on ‘The Tonight Show’ and became an overnight sell-out.
Now her merchandise is distributed in over 900 stores worldwide, and has been recognised with several awards, including the Breakthrough Designer Award from the Accessories Council.
“It obviously was a dream and something that you always hope would happen, but then when it really happens you’re very excited, something that you dreamed of and came true,” she commented.
Minkoff is also a self-proclaimed “pioneer in sustainability”, and believes that her brand is getting it right by converting to a see-buy-wear model for the last three seasons, which gives customers instant access to the looks they are seeing on the catwalk.
“The biggest waste from the industry actually comes from fast fashion, and having a see-buy-wear model cuts off at the knees the ability for our brands to get knocked off or copied,” she explained.
“So we go to market first with our products, and the fast fashion retailers don’t get to knock it off. That in itself is more sustainable and eco-friendly because of the amount of waste that comes out of these companies.”
The handbag mogul, whose original cult bag was named ‘The Morning After’ and featured a fake card with a man’s phone number in the front pocket, also wanted to stress that her brand doesn’t see diversity as a “trend” and would always aspire to have “the most diverse” catwalk at fashion week.
International and renowned fashion designer, Rebecca Minkoff is the Global Colour Designer for Essie. She has collaborated with the brand to launch 2 new Essie Leathers Collection kits, available in Boots from 27th Sept – 24th October.