West Coast, best coast? New York-based designer Rebecca Minkoff certainly thinks so — at least when it comes to the presentation of her spring 2017 collection.
In an interview Saturday shortly before the start of her runway show at the Grove shopping center, the San Diego native explained why she opted for Los Angeles over New York.
“One of the things we learned when we did our Soho Greene Street runway show [in New York] in September is that we love doing our shows outside,” she said. “Also, because now that we are doing the see-now-buy-now shows for the consumer, it frees us up, and we don’t have the constraints of the old fashion week model.”
And of course, there was the fact that the collection was for spring and had a major California theme.
“If you look at New York right now, it is freezing cold with terrible weather,” Minkoff said. “I said to my brother, my co-founder, ‘What if we did the show in Los Angeles? It then became a great collaboration where we could truly celebrate the collection in its proper place.’”
Minkoff’s show began with the Grove’s green trolley transporting models to the start of the runway near the movie theater. Models then proceeded to walk through the Grove, turning the trolley tracks into their personal runway for an audience of about 200 guests.
The fashion that was shown on the runway was a mélange of feminine-yet-edgy looks that exuded a Southern California and sexy ’70s spirit. Think eyelets, suede, fringe, denim and leather mixed in with long, breezy floral print dresses, off-the-shoulder tops, cropped pants, graphic tees and smokin’ motorcycle jackets.
In keeping with the social media-centric attitude of her brand, Minkoff’s runway show included an assortment of influencers including Victoria Justice, Aimee Song, Jamie Chung, Chriselle Lim, Coco Rocha, Maddy Reed, Pyper America Smith and Natalie Suarez.
The show was the tent-pole event for a day’s worth of runway-to-retail activities at the Grove that included yoga by Zella Athleisure, Essie manicures, a fireside chat with Minkoff and Who What Wear’s Hillary Kerr, a wine-tasting, a book signing with Keke Palmer and shopping opportunities at pop-up shops, such as the Little Market with Lauren Conrad.
“The consumer is all about the experience,” Minkoff said, “So [we asked ourselves], ‘How can we give her a day in the life?”
Minkoff was one of the early adopters of the see-now / buy-now format — in which the clothes on the runway are available for purchase right away as opposed to six months down the line — staging a successful (in terms of both sales and buzz) show in New York in February 2016, and while the look of the spring 2017 collection may have been all about riding off into the California sunset in a ’70s Corvette, it was hard not to see a deeper meaning that involved the entrepreneurial spirit and female empowerment.
Together with the Grove and her show sponsors, Minkoff presented a runway collection — not to mention an entire day of activities that celebrated the accomplishments, beauty and strength of women.
“I design for a fearless woman, and I want this brand to be one that inspires her to be even more fearless,” Minkoff said.
A sentiment that, on this Saturday afternoon anyway, felt just as much at home on the trolley tracks of the Grove as the SoCal canyons of the 1970s.