New York Fashion Week: 5 Questions with Rebecca Minkoff

The womenswear's designer on social media, surviving Fashion Week and women having it all

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Jamie McCarthy—Getty Images

I saw in WWD that your spring collection is inspired by a pool party. Can you elaborate on that?
I think that they—that wasn’t—

Not an accurate representation?
Not at all. Slim Aarons, the photographer—I loved the images he captured, the places, the photography, the locations that he traveled to, so it started from that. And the colors—without looking too vintage. The florals come from that. We’re imagining that glamorous life, but set fifty years later.

You’re really prolific when it comes to social media—Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram. You even used a fan’s Instagram photos in an ad campaign. Do you think it’s vital for designers to connect with their fans in a more direct way?
Yeah, I think it’s one of the most important things to us as a brand. Since the beginning, before there were all these platforms, it was just forums and Facebook—MySpace, even—it was a way for me to connect with my consumer and hear what she’s thinking and feeling. I didn’t want to be that designer in the ivory tower who was too good for my customer.

I watched your latest viral video, The Fashion Week Bootcamp. What are your essential survival tips for getting through Fashion Week?
Try and remain calm. Have fun. And take out the diva; it’s not needed. People work too hard to have someone be mean to them.

There’s been an ongoing debate that seemed to heat up this summer about whether or not working women can have it all. What’s your take on that? How do you balance being a mother and the demands of work?
I think it’s always a challenge, and you’re always torn. I’m not happy doing one full-time, or the other full-time. So I just know that I signed up for being—always trying to do and have both. And you know, things had to change. I was working till 9, 10, 11 in the night, to now, at 6 o’clock, I’m out. And if that means that something’s not perfect, then I just have to let it go.