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How Fashion Design Rebecca Minkoff Pivoted In the Pandemic: "We Were Not Going to Go Down Without A Fight"

Rebecca Minkoff's business was in trouble. Watch her explain how she redefined it for a digital era.


"I have fear all the time," says celebrated fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff. "But I am not letting it stop me!"

Minkoff has the results to prove it. She's gained a wide fanbase, and many accolades in the industry, for her accessible luxury handbags, accessories, footwear and apparel. But when COVID-19 hit last year, her company lost 70% of its business. She and her brother, who serves as her company's CEO, even discussed shutting the business down. But instead, they redefined themselves — growing their e-commerce channels so well that the company rebounded, and is now up over the year prior.

"We just made the commitment to our team, to each other, to the last 15 years of being in business, that we were not going to go down without a fight," she said at Yelp's Women In Business Summit in March, which Entrepreneur was a partner in. "It's been an incredible year, in terms of taking our own power back as a company. For so long, we were at the beck and call of our [retail] partners, who called the shots. And now we say 'If you want to order, that's great. And if you don't, that's also fine, because we know we can feed ourselves on our own site.'"

In a wide-ranging conversation, Minkoff offered many tips on growing a business, including:

  • Batch time. To make the most of her days, Minkoff batches whatever she can — whether it's designing, podcasting, responding to emails, or writing. (Her book, Fearless: The New Rules for Unlocking Creativity, Courage, and Success, comes out in June.)
  • Hire "mini-entrepreneurs". These are people who are nimble, can multitask, and think big. You want them on your team!
  • No email in the mornings. She refuses to check her email before 10 a.m., so she can focus on what she needs to do for the day.
  • Collaborate with others. Minkoff is a community builder, and thinks territorialism is counterproductive. "There is enough pie for all of us," she says.

To learn more about her journey, and how she reinvented her business during the pandemic, watch the video above.


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