Yahoo Ryot Lab, the innovation partner for New York Fashion Week: The Shows 2021, is working with IMG and leading fashion designers to create extended reality content experiences that add a multi-dimensional lens to their collections. Rebecca Minkoff is the first featured brand tied to the company's Spring/Summer ‘21 collection. To explore some of the looks in augmented reality, click on the play button below. On desktop, use your mouse to see the outfits from different angles. On mobile, move around your space for a 360-degree view.
Rebecca Minkoff's name was put on the map back in 2001 when actress Jenna Elfman wore an "I Love New York" T-shirt designed by Minkoff on late-night television. Now, two decades later the designer is a household name known for her watches, shoes, clothes and the iconic Mini M.A.C. crossbody bag. Ahead of her New York Fashion Week showcase on Tuesday, she tells Yahoo Life that she's not nearly done reinventing herself.
"You have to be quick and nimble and flexible," she explains of her evolution as a designer.
This year in particular with the coronavirus pandemic impacting industries across the board, Minkoff was put up to the ultimate challenge of re-connecting to her customers who were no longer seeing her collections in showrooms and stores, but instead experiencing them at home.
"It was the most challenging and one of the most inspiring years," Minkoff says. "You can have what feels like the worst thing happen as a founder to your company and come back from that, have the team rally in a way that you are blown away by and be able to come out of this having a deeper understanding of your customer, of your business — what works and what doesn't."
When it comes to New York Fashion Week, the designer maintained that mindset.
"We've always let our consumer attend our shows, invited her, celebrated her," she explains, "so this year and the last show were obviously a lot more difficult to do, knowing that the capacity and the rules around safety are just much more stringent."
While Minkoff was able to bring her Spring 2021 collection to life with a showcase in New York on Tuesday, she talks about the importance of innovating when it comes to delivering that collection directly to the consumer — especially in these isolating times. "We want to give a much more immersive view of the collection in a way that would have been experienced in person but now can't," she says, noting that social media and different immersive technologies are allowing her to do so. But it wouldn't be the first time that she incorporated new technologies into her brand.
"I think that the pandemic has accelerated the consumer's adoption of many things," she says. "We had QR codes in our bags years ago that were going to unlock experiences and rewards and the consumer just was like, 'What's a QR code?' And now they're on every menu and you're seeing widespread adoption and use of it."
Fortunately for the Rebecca Minkoff brand, the designer says that she's learned to look at the pandemic as "just another opportunity" to examine the brand's existing relationship with the consumer and explore ways to innovate. Minkoff takes a similar approach when it comes to expanding the brand's offerings.
"You want to have a strong base of core handbags and products that people come back to you for again and again," she says in reference to her notable crossbody bags. "Then you definitely need to iterate and have the fashion that is a fun surprise and a great layering onto the core."
With her latest collection, said to draw inspiration from the juxtaposition between spring florals and the downtown edge of Minkoff's home in New York City, the designer seems to have achieved just that.
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