At a preview last night at Tribeca beauty spot TenOverTen, Rebecca Minkoff held court amid editors sipping champagne and getting their nails painted to debut an exclusive collection of tech accessories for eBay's Fashion Vault. The collection ranges from a leopard print iPhone case ($28) to a studded iPad envelope ($220), and in many ways illustrates a larger point -- that a fashionista's most-prized accessory is increasingly a gadget, on equal footing with the latest It-bag or shoe.
Minkoff worked with eBay's Sam Shaffer on the collection and told us that tech accessories were a natural choice since the brand is becoming increasingly known for them. While she was still waiting on the figures from the first day of sales, she was betting that the iPad case would "get the most attention."
Minkoff has long been known for her Web-savvy -- jumping into online retail very quickly and launching a spin-off blog, Minkette, in the process -- and the designer told us that it was the immediacy of the connection with her client that made the platform so captivating.
"I think that because we started that way, and because I knew right away to be in touch with my customer and talk to her directly, that it made our business grow exponentially and today continues," says Minkoff. "People appreciate that you'll talk to them and take their feedback. You're not in some ivory tower somewhere."
The relationship extends beyond followers on twitter and super-fans on handbag forums: Minkoff often mines her fans' requests for future projects.
"We have all these consumers that want us to remake old styles, and then we'll do that for them," says Minkoff. "We'll say, 'Go get 25 girls together, and if you can get 25 girls together, then we'll make an exclusive for you.'"
When asked about some of her favorite apps, Minkoff played coy about yet another project she's got in the works: "It's Instagram, it's Twitter ... lately Facebook to post pictures of my baby. I'm pretty boring with the apps, but there's one that I'm working on that you'll be hearing about soon.