New York designer Rebecca Minkoff coming to Honolulu

Minkoff the Record

Rebecca Minkoff

Still a little green from yesterday's St. Paddy's Day festivities? Yeah, us too.

Good news. Rebecca Minkoff is ready to open our bleary eyes – and closets – to some fresh spring looks. Next week, the New York-based designer will be at Nordstrom in Ala Moana Center to showcase vibrant, carefree pieces from her spring collection, including shoes and apparel (the latter arrives in store for the first time ever this week!).

As a preview, we snagged a one-on-one session to pick Minkoff's brain about, oh, just about everything. Don't worry, you'll get your chance next week.

Thank your lucky stars.

Rebecca Minkoff Dylan tote
Dylan leather tote, $295.

What are the big trends for apparel and bags this spring and in the fall?
For spring we're seeing a lot of natural, nude-colored shoes, sporty elements and a lot of floral. For bags it's all about the tote! For fall, expect masculine vs. feminine, sculptural details, a bit of grunge and lots of fur.

What would you splurge on: a great jacket, a great bag or a great pair of shoes?
Oh, that's tough! All three are usually my statement pieces. Once a year, I'd splurge on a great bag and two times a year, I'd try to splurge for a great pair of shoes, like Isabel Marant booties. I love that they make every outfit look cool.

When you build an outfit, do you start with the clothes, the bag or the shoes?
I usually wear a lot of black so I typically start with the shoe I'm in the mood to wear that day and build around it – usually a nude bootie or something with embellishment.

You started off with apparel in 2001 and didn't get into handbags until 2005. How did you transition?
A friend of mine (actress Jenna Elfman) asked me to make a handbag for her for a movie she had coming out so I just figured out how to do it myself. I loved the process and transitioned over just to handbags for a while.

What's in your bag right now?
My favorite Rebecca Minkoff keychain, a very shiny Comme Des Garcons wallet, Chapstick, a deep red Stila lip gloss and a pair of Rebecca Minkoff sunglasses.

What advice do you have for aspiring designers? Do you recommend jumping right in or going to fashion or design school?
I think you have to do what works for you. Both are great approaches. I do tell all aspiring designers to never give up and keep trying to do what they love.

Rebecca Minkoff Joshua dress What should you look for when shopping for a bag?
I think you should look for and invest in a bag that is comfortable for you and fits your lifestyle. For example, if you are always running around and need your hands, crossbody bags are great for you.

Any tips for keeping your bag in shape or looking nice?
Don't throw your bag on the floor when you get home. Treat it well so it stays nice. I see a lot of people just throw it somewhere and I want to scream, "No! That's a work of art!" Also, shoemakers are great at fixing an old bag.

What are you packing for your trip to Hawaii?
I'm so excited for warm weather so I'm bringing my Rebecca Minkoff Joshua dress ($298, above), the Dillan tee, the Becky blazer in white, a bathing suit and a pair of jean shorts.

Mix & Mingle with Minkoff takes place next Tuesday, March 26, from 6-8 p.m. at Nordstrom, Ala Moana Center, in the handbag department. Enjoy a live DJ, refreshments, and free gift and autograph signing with every Rebecca Minkoff purchase (while supplies last).