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Rebecca Minkoff is a designer that rolls with the punches.
The New York-based fashion mogul was one of the first to embrace the see-now, buy-now model, switching up her calendar in 2015, and was also an early adopter of the idea of the experiential fashion show, presenting her spring 2017 collection at The Grove in Los Angeles with a swath of activities for her customers to participate in after the show. It was during that same show that Minkoff wrangled a handful of social celebrities — bloggers, vloggers and Instagram stars — to take part in the runway, a move which she repeated to present her fall 2017 collection of 1970s rock ‘n’ roll-inspired pieces on Saturday afternoon.
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“It’s important to have [the influencers] because modern media has changed, and who women look to for their inspiration, style and fashion wise, has changed,” said Minkoff. “For us to put real women that [our customers] look to for their style and inspiration on the runway was important because it creates that connectivity for our customer.”
The effects, both on social and IRL, were immediate. Post-show “likes” on photos on Minkoff’s social channels hovered in the 2,000 range. However, on the profile of Janni Deler, a Swedish influencer who walked in the show, the “likes” were upwards of 22,000. Even prior to the runway, gaggles of blogger fans were lined up down the street outside of the SoHo boutique on Greene Street where the intimate show took place, audibly cheering when they thought they’d caught a glimpse of one of their digital heroes.
This season, Minkoff also had her most diverse runway to date. “We’ve always had a diverse runway, but this season I swung the pendulum as hard as I could to really make it more noticeable,” she noted. “Everyone talks about it every season, but I know that 50 percent of my models last season were not Caucasian. So for fall I really wanted to make a statement by having models who were not just not Caucasian, but not just one body type as well.”
Even the front row at the show was made up of a diverse bunch. Models Maye Musk, 69 and Coco Rocha were seated near celeb hairstylist Jen Atkin, Jessica Alba (whose baby bump was just beginning to show beneath her white floor-length gown), actress/musician Victoria Justice and all-star bloggers like Chriselle Lim and Danielle Bernstein.
As for what inspired Minkoff‘s decision to up the diversity this season, the designer cited “the current political climate — I want to send a message like, ‘Look at how beautiful different people are.’”
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