It’s only February and already designer Rebecca Minkoff is having an incredible year. The co-founder, with her brother Uri Minkoff, and head designer of her namesake brand, raked in more than $100 million in sales last year. This is due in large part to Minkoff always being on the cutting edge of technology and seamlessly weaving it into her fashion strategy. She already has a store of the future with smart dressing rooms and advanced mirrors from which customers can request products and save items to their phones to later purchase online. It also, of course, has a self-checkout. And now she has managed to outdo herself again. To say the least, the Jetsons ain’t got nothing on Rebecca Minkoff.
Now Minkoff has created a Smart Bag. Ahead of her Fashion Week presentation this month at L.A.’s The Grove (many New York designers flocked West this year) she launched 10 limited edition bags, named the #AlwaysOn Midnighter style, at her pop up. Each bag comes with a hangtag that unlocks a ticket to e-commerce services, private styling sessions, style recommendations, video content and an invitation to Minkoff’s next fashion show. Though these bags are literally computers they integrated seamlessly into her fall line which was an ode to the style of her boho California upbringing. She partnered with Avery Dennison and Evrythng on these beautiful studded bags that retail for $295. The bags fall right in line with her massive appeal to tech savvy female millennials.
“We were looking to appeal to the woman that is a truly tech-active millennial craving a new level of immediate satisfaction. We wanted to be first in letting our customers access this new world of experiences, content and services digitally by interacting with our physical designs. Most fashion brands lose sight of their products and customers; this technology now allows us to directly connect with shoppers through our products after purchase,” Minkoff told Chip Chick over email.
As of right now there were only a limited number of these smart bags, but Minkoff says by this summer all of the brand’s handbags “will be equipped with smart technology helping to push towards that vision for the mass spread of #BornDigital wardrobes.”
This #BornDigital movement she speaks of the company’s plan to digitize 10 billion items of clothing and accessories over the next three years. We’ve seen the success of wearables and now we are moving on to the next iteration: connected clothing (which will eventually phase out wearables.) Your favorite item of clothing will now be equipped with information about that brand essentially acting as the ultimate VIP pass. But Minkoff warns that you won’t see every brand rolling out connected clothing tomorrow. “I think it depends a lot on what it offers the customer. Tech for the sake of tech is also not something you want. But we would love to see our RTW have a tech element in the future,” she sad.
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As for how she anticipates what her customer wants? “Mainly, I think being the same age and sex as my customer is a huge help. I want the same things they do. We all have incredibly full busy lives, but we also want to feel comfortable and look stylish.”