Rebecca Minkoff isn’t resting on her laurels this New York Fashion Week. She’s one of two designers who will be hosting a physical show on the roof of Spring Studios, on Tuesday, which will be shared via livestreams on TikTok and Instagram, as well as IMG’s NYFW.com platform. Plus, she’s using the event to debut new partnerships with Klarna and Verizon, and to launch her brand on several new platforms, from OnlyFans to Pinterest.
Minkoff said that some of the new partnerships, including with OnlyFans, were planned well in advance, while others, like with Verizon’s Yahoo Ryot Labs that’s centered on an AR program, came together within the last week. Rebecca Minkoff has come to rely on the coverage and attention that NYFW brings, having participated in the event since 2009. And Minkoff has a reputation for introducing innovative concepts during fashion week, like when she launched see-now, buy-now in 2016. But with NYFW being on a smaller scale this season, she’s relying on a plethora of digital launches to make comparable waves.
“It’s definitely been a lot of work to launch all of this so close together,” Minkoff said. “We added two new people to the social team to make sure we can cover it all. I’ve been telling our team at every launch and at the show to just film everything, record everything, take pictures constantly. If we don’t end up using a video for YouTube, maybe it can go on Instagram. Or if a post doesn’t work on Instagram, it can go to subscribers on OnlyFans. That’s how we divide and conquer.”
Rebecca Minkoff’s OnlyFans account, which launched on Friday, offers her fans free access to behind-the-scenes photos, videos and outtakes from Minkoff’s YouTube videos. They have the option to pay $5-$25 to participate in an hour-long conversation with Minkoff and access other exclusive content. Minkoff said she approached the OnlyFans team with more than 800 pieces of content, including photos and videos. OnlyFans gave her guidance on what kinds of material performs and works best on platform. Minkoff said that OnlyFans, which is most commonly known as a platform for sex workers to share images and videos, wants to recruit more creators in other areas like fashion. OnlyFans’ users increased more than 300% to more than 100 million in 2020. Notable content creators in a wide spectrum of fields have recently joined the platform, including Michael B. Jordan and Cardi B.
On Sunday, Pinterest launched a robust new fashion week campaign on its platform featuring exclusive images and videos from designers including Anna Sui, Candice Cuoco and Minkoff. Minkoff said she knows her customer is a heavy Pinterest user, as some pins related to her brand have seen more than 1 million views. As a result, she wants to forge a more personal connection with Pinterest users. She hopes that the fashion week push and a new focus on how-tos and tutorials will do that. Pinterest will be promoting all NYFW coverage on the Today Tab on its homepage.
Finally, on the platforms front, Minkoff launched a personal Clubhouse profile on February 8 where she’ll engage in weekly conversations with people in the fashion industry, with the intention to use the channel to provide a guide to how to make it in the fashion industry. Her first guest was Leslie Russo, president of fashion events at IMG’s parent company Endeavor, and her next will be Jennifer Bett Meyer, founder of PR agency Jennifer Bett Communications.
For all the platforms, Minkoff said her strategy going forward will heavily depend on how their launch goes. While OnlyFans and Pinterest supplied guidance on fitting content, Minkoff said it’s the customer who ultimately guides what she does on each platform.
On the tech side, Minkoff partnered with Verizon’s Yahoo Ryot Labs, an AR company that is the official innovation partner for IMG’s NYFW, to create an immersive augmented reality version of the brand’s NYFW show that can be experienced through a mobile device. Minkoff said most of the work was done by Yahoo Ryot Labs using samples she sent them. The experience will be viewable on Yahoo.com.
In addition, Rebecca Minkoff launched a partnership with Klarna on Monday. Minkoff said it was a natural fit since more than 20% of her customers use buy-now, pay-later options already. Klarna will have a presence at Minkoff’s show: Attendees at the show can scan QR codes on display, which link to product pages showcasing the pieces — Klarna is pre-selected as the choice payment method. Minkoff said the two will also use co-branded marketing: There will be a Klarna-branded livestream of the show on both companies’ Instagram accounts, and a Klarna-branded email will be sent to Rebecca Minkoff’s customers from Klarna.
“”We only get 100 guests or so at the show this season [due to capacity restrictions],” Minkoff said. “In the past, we’d have 800 people there and a lot of them would just be regular consumers rather than buyers and editors. With the smaller shows, we wanted a way for the everyday customers to experience what we’re doing.”
Minkoff’s ramped up digital efforts for NYFW have also changed her PR strategy, according to Melissa Rich of Infinite Creative Agency, who represents Minkoff.
“In terms of coverage, most of the time Rebecca’s team and I would just set aside an hour or so before the show and bring press or whoever backstage to talk to Rebecca for a bit,” Rich said. “But now, with everything virtual and the amount of launches we’re doing, it becomes a lot more complicated. We’re filming Zoom interviews and phone calls and virtual appearances that take a lot more time to schedule.”