NYFW: REBECCA MINKOFF F/W 2014

Rebecca Minkoff doesn’t just design what’s hip and cool, she is hip and cool. Living in Manhattan with her husband, actor/director Gavin Bellour and their son Luca, Rebecca represents the very epitome of what every up-and-coming 20-something girl wants to be. She is independently successful, creative, in charge of an ever-growing apparel line, and a mom, and a wife. So, when social media exclaims that Ms. Minkoff is “cool incarnate,” one has to expect a certain standard from the clothes coming down her runway.

There is little question that Rebecca defines what is cool for the hipster generation and that was very obvious not only in the clothes themselves, but in the range of responses to the show. In fact, I would almost guess that what one sees in the show differs based on large part upon one’s generational perspective. When I watched the show, I saw pastels, magnified houndstooth, beautifully belted scarves, and practical coats. However, if I were to gauge the show based on the response in social media I would quickly come to the conclusion that Ms. Minkoff failed to show anything on her runway accept for a wide array of the knit stocking caps mistakenly referred to as beanies (yes, I’m going to be old fashioned and refer to them as sock caps because beanies are an entirely different piece of haberdashery, with or without propeller).

Yes, there are a large number of sock caps, and I can assure you that, even though we may not say anything, those of my generation and earlier really do wish that those of you wearing them would bother taking them off when you are indoors, even if you are female. What is more important is that Minkoff presents a line of daywear that is both pracitcal and, for the first half of the show, even office appropriate, for the hipsters pretending they have jobs. Silhouettes are largely utilitarian, perhaps even bordering on pedestrian by some standards, but still manage to be attractive enough that one’s parents won’t be embarrassed when they take you to lunch.

For the second half of the collection, Rebecca goes more casual and sexy in that way hipsters have of being sexy without actually admitting that they’re trying to be sexy. Liquid metal fabrics provide a lot of shimmer and shine so that there’s a sense of classiness to go along with that black studded t-shirt that reads “SNOB” and, of course, another black sock cap. Toss in Minkoff’s trademark handbags and what are admittedly some very attractive tassled boots and one might well decide that this is the ultimate hipster wardrobe for fall and winter.

Of course, not every person attending NYFW is 20-something. Not every person who was at this show is a hipster. I’ve seen more than a few comments referring to the collection as a “train wreck,” and “the decline of American fashion.” Don’t be bothered by those old fogies. A nurse will be along with their medication soon.

Rebecca Minkoff knows good and well who her audience is because she is her audience. She is directly in touch with her target market and, wisely, her collection is tailor-made to an aesthetic she knows they’ll buy. A very smart marketer, Ms. Minkoff is. Very smart.

Now, where’s my medication?

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