Rebecca Minkoff takes aim at Asia's sexy tomboy shoppers

Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:38pm EDT
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By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters) - She is young, a sexy tomboy, Internet savvy and a fashion trendsetter rather than a follower. With money to burn, she is designer Rebecca Minkoff's ideal customer in a booming Asia.

The 32-year-old American designer, who is known mainly for her luxury handbags, has positioned Asia as a key part of the growth plan for the company she runs with her brother.

Minkoff, who showed her fall/winter collection at Japan Fashion Week, opened her store in Tokyo's trendy Ginza district in early 2012 and her New York shop will throw open its doors this year.

"We saw that there was tremendous opportunity," Minkoff said in an interview at the store. "From the beginning here we thought our consumer has really embraced the brand."

Chinese consumers have become the world's leading buyers of luxury goods, accounting for one quarter of the market globally with demand growing, according to a report by consulting firm Bain & Co.

Minkoff said the Ginza store was definitely one way to capture the Chinese market.

"It's refreshing for a tourist to walk in and buy several pieces when they were thinking of one designer handbag. Here they can walk in and buy three for the same price."

The most popular bag is the brand's Mini MAC, which sell for 26,000 yen ($270). The company does some exclusive bag models for the Japanese market, and much of the apparel is also designed with Japan in mind.   Continued...

Designer Rebecca Minkoff smiles and waves with a musician after presenting her Fall/Winter 2012 collection during New York Fashion Week February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson