How Rebecca Minkoff Embraced Tech For Retail Success

Rebecca Minkoff, cofounder and creative director of fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff, was one of the first retailers to engage directly with consumers online. At the Fortune Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit in Laguna Niguel, Calif. on Tuesday, Minkoff spoke about how others thought she was crazy for trying to work directly with bloggers and early “influencers,” instead of being in an “ivory tower” above consumers as other brands were.

Her crazy plan worked, for she now runs a successful brand with her brother Uri Minkoff.

In addition to directly engaging with online customers, Rebecca Minkoff’s brand was also the first to livesteam a runway show. Her brand has always embraced technology, now using smart dressing rooms in its stores and selling connected clothing and accessories. She says her company has a leg up in this area thanks to her brother’s software background. “He is tuned into that mentality,” Minkoff says of her brother.

When asked about her advice to other retailers, Minkoff suggests making stores “as much as possible about different experiences women want.” She commends those that have incorporated yoga classes and juice bars on site.

Minkoff’s life is not completely consumed by her business. She is also a mother of two children under the age of 10 and is expecting another child in February. Inspired by a fellow fashion designer, she calls her work/life balancing act a “beautiful hustle.” She emphasizes that finding the right balance is all about juggling and prioritizing. When her first child was born, she said she wanted to be the one that raised him, so she plans to not be away from her children for more than five days at a time.

She admits that some parts of her life may suffer, saying her and her husband do not see each other very often as they are both growing their careers.

And what does she think of Amazon? “We’re fine to not be a part of that game,” Minkoff says. She says women don’t shop by saying, “Alexa, buy me a white shirt.” And she is convinced that will not change anytime soon.

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