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How She Got There: Rebecca Minkoff, Fashion Designer

Name: Rebecca Minkoff
Job Title and Description: Fashion Designer
Website: www.rebeccaminkoff.com
Twitter Handle: @RebeccaMinkoff
Instagram Handle: @rebeccaminkoff

What does your current job entail? Is there such thing as a typical day?

Rebecca Minkoff:  Each day is really different. I’d say no one day has ever been the same. I think that is goes from a design meeting to a PR meeting to planning a fashion show to then going to an event at the store, where we do a lot of female people speaking about entrepreneurship, and then other days is sitting in an apparel meeting or jewelry meeting or a technology meeting with a new tech partner. Some days we’re just talking about how to improve the stores. So I think what’s fun and exciting is that it’s always really different. 

What inspired you to start designing?

RM: I think the fact that I could have an idea for something and then literally make it; I think the power and confidence I felt being able to do that was really something that at the age of eight was really empowering and I got kind of hooked on it. 

What is the best part of your job? And the best part about designing for young women?

RM: I think there’s always a fun thing, like the opening of a box of your samples that you’ve been working on for a year to arrive. I think there’s the other side of meeting the customer and hearing all of the stories that are so personal to her about how excited she is to buy her first designer bag and the story that she has about it. As for the best part about designing for young women, I think that I started the company when I was the age of a college woman, so I think we try to freeze my mentality there. And so it’s like giving her something that makes her feel confident, unique, different, independent, and so to be able to help provide that to a college girl is exciting because that’s a very big turning point in a woman’s life. 

What do you look for when hiring someone?

RM: I look for someone who’s going to work their ass off. Someone who knows that success isn’t handed to anybody. That you really have to be focused and driven and be able to make your way through challenges and find solutions, and it’s really about the journey, not the pot of gold at the end. And enjoying that, and being able to work for it. And I think it starts with how they shake your hand, how they dress themselves and how they understand the brand. How they talk, do they look at you in the eye during the interview, how they follow-up. And then when they’re here, how they act and their work ethic. 

In your opinion, what are some unexpected ways that women can network in the fashion industry if they are not in it yet? 

RM: I mean, I think from the start, for instance, a great way to start is with Her Campus and any other women’s networks that exist on campuses. I think that is a great place to begin. I also think that if you have an internship, really diving into that. If you can get access to the founders of the company and ask them how they could do a better job or if there are groups at the company that could be a part of, or sit in on a meeting. If you’re studying fashion, sit in on a customer service meeting or sit in on a logistics meeting, and really start understanding how the whole kind of ecosystem works together. 

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Isabel is a currently the Evening & Weekend Editor at Her Campus and a student at New York University in the Global Liberal Studies program with a concentration in Contemporary Culture and Creative Production. When she is not watching Gilmore Girls or playing with puppies at the local pet store, she spends her time freelancing for numerous publications about celebrities and life. You can find her work on the websites of Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Seventeen, Elle, and Buzzfeed. Follow her on Instagram at @isabelcalkins.
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