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Exclusive: Rebecca Minkoff talks Fall 2014 at special Amex Skybox Q&A

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Examiner.com was invited to be a special guest in American Express' Skybox at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Today on Feb. 10, we are excited to share highlights from Minkoff's conversation.

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Rebecca Minkoff kicked off her Fall 2014 presentation with live music from AlunaGeorge at the start of the runway. Carrie Underwood, Zendaya, Anna Kendrick, Victoria Justice, and AnnaSophia Robb were a few of the stars we spotted in the front row.

Beautiful young models with natural looking hair, messy pony tails and beanie hats walked the runway. Highlights included a two tone coat, which was light grey and a blush color. We also loved the stunning knee high light pebble boots, the evergreen coat and capes. There was a great ambiance thanks to the live music and fun jumpsuits. The metallic blouse introduced the metallic pieces including liquid metallic pants paired with a tough black quilted leather jacket.

So tell us a little about your inspiration this season?

RM: This season, I was really inspired by taking typical menswear silhouettes, and re-imagining them in more feminine colors and softer styles, so that came into play with the pinstripes sort of twisted up, a lot of the nude and rose colors that you saw and then adding that splash of lamé that was done in menswear silhouettes, but really feminine.

There are a lot of lifestyle brands, so when you think about the women you are designing for what do you think it takes to be the next great lifestyle brand?

RM: I think for us it's really important that listen to our customer, and I am lucky enough that I travel to about 20 cities throughout year and I meet her in every city big and small and I think getting feedback and touching her and knowing how she wants to dress and how she wants to feel, is something that I just keep trying to create.

You are a brand that is on the forefront of social media, and you built your brand rather quickly on social media. How do you use social media in your brand?

RM: I think for us, the rise in social media actually started with blogs, I came across women talking about handbags and they were mentioning my name, and I thought, "Well, I should probably answer these women, no one else is answering them" and I think that was the first time I saw that by talking to the customer and taking - not just me - but the designer out of the ivory tower and engaging with your customer was something that they felt a connection and an allegiance to in a really strong way. And we also feel our girl this is how she communicates whether it be on Twitter, Instagram or Vine, and this is how she is receiving her information, and that's is natural for her. As the eldest of the millennials, it's natural for me to communicate that way too.

You have over 300,000 instagram followers, so how do you think you built your fan base so quickly?

RM: I think we built our fan base by being true in how we speak and by just appealing and knowing exactly who are customer is and when she wants an inspirational quote, when she wants to see a peek at my life and when she wants to see accessories and I think we've been really honing in on that and I'm really lucky that my business partner is my brother. He has a huge technology background and so him being able to help me - he knows that side and I know what to say to her.

Can you speak about balancing being mom and entrepreneur?

RM: There is no balance and to expect balance is setting yourself up for failure…I have a really great support system with my husband, I have great friends, they live in the building and when I am tired, I call them and they come down and play with my son and it's just trying to prioritize and honestly let things go. I used to work till 11pm prior to having my son and wanting to be in control of everything, but now if something goes wrong that's fine because I got to spend time with my son when I got home.

What's a fashion tip or advice for women shopping for Spring?

RM: I think for spring you're going to see a lot of great colors like tangerine or fuchsia and take a risk and be bold and take one thing that makes you slightly uncomfortable and add that thing to your wardrobe.

Where did your passion for fashion come from?

RM: When I moved to New York, I had an internship with a designer I was 18, and the CEO took me under her wing and really taught me everything. She had me not just work with him, and had me work with every aspect of the company and at one point I was like," I want to be a singer, a dancer, and a designer," and she was like "you better figure out what you want to do now, because you can't do all three well." But I needed to hear that…and I decided that there wasn't anything more than I wanted to do more than just design, so I made that my focus, and worked really hard from there.

I always loved the musical acts that you choose, could you tell us how you chose the one you found AlunaGeorge?

RM: I had heard AlunaGeorge with Disclosure that song "White Noise" and I really liked it, so I started to listen to more of her music and I always like picking women who are strong and are on the rise of some sort. Janelle Monae was a special gift from AMEX so she was already on the rise, but just celebrating female musicians and I just thought her song was great for the show.

We had so much fun in the American Express Skybox, which is a VIP experience for their customers. All the way from a separate entrance to the tents and shows, to a VIP backstage tour, American Express a provided flawless experience. The intimate space featured a mini bar, a permanent waiter serving hors d'oeuvres. The food and drinks were sponsored by Food & Wine. The pulled pork sandwiches, chips and truffle sauce were superb. Each day they featured a different chef such as Mario Batali. Guests from Canada, Austria, and South America enjoyed a first look at the latest collections in the comfort and tranquility of the Skybox Lounge. After the Minkoff show ended, the guests had an additional VIP experience. An IMG representative escorted them through a unique backstage tour of what goes on behind the scenes in the seven day fashion marathon. The tour ended with the E! 360 degree glam cam, were guests posed just like A listers in the red carpet.

Estefania Garcia-Correa contributed reporting.

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