Rebecca Minkoff Flagship Joins Tech & Service With a Touch


BROTHER/SISTER ACT: Rebecca Minkoff, left, and Uri Minkoff at their Los Angeles flagship


FIRST STORE: The interior of the first Uri Minkoff store


TO THE FEET: A footwear display at the Rebecca Minkoff flagship


TABLET: Tablets used by store staff will connect consumers and store tech.

Since e-commerce business started skyrocketing nearly a decade ago, bricks-and-mortar retailers have wondered how they could inject the best of the e-commerce experience into physical stores.

The Rebecca Minkoff flagship in Los Angeles, which opened on Aug. 27 at 8335 Melrose Ave., is being touted as a store of the future. It aims to bring together bricks-and-mortar service with e-commerce convenience and intelligence.

The flagship’s e-commerce experience starts at the entrance of the store with the large screen–size Connected Wall, which the Minkoff company developed with eBay Inc. The large screen shows images of Rebecca Minkoff styles. But shoppers also can touch the screen and order water or cappuccino from the mirror. In addition, they can request that store staff prepare a dressing room for them.

If a shopper registers the number of her smartphone with the mirror, it can send a text when a room is ready, said Uri Minkoff, chief executive officer of Rebecca Minkoff and the brother of the New York–headquartered designer, who founded her self-named company in 2001.

In the dressing room, a large touch-screen Connected Mirror awaits the shopper. The dressing-room mirror registers what clothes are brought into the dressing room. The computer in the dressing room suggests clothes, footwear and handbags that would go well with the items taken into the dressing room. The mirror also controls lighting in the room. If the shopper wants to test how items would look at lighting reminiscent of sunlight on a bright shopping street or the low light of a restaurant at night, all she has to do is touch the mirror to control the lighting.

The Connected Walls and Mirrors were tested at Minkoff flagships in San Francisco and New York, which opened in January and December, respectively. Another Rebecca Minkoff store is scheduled to open in Chicago later this year. The mirrors were made for the millennial generation–aged Rebecca Minkoff shopper in mind, Uri Minkoff said.

“It is all based on touch, which is how she interacts,” he said of the customer. There are no cash wraps at the store. Transactions will be purchased through tablets used by store staff. Staff can communicate with shoppers solely by texts sent on their tablets.

An in-house Minkoff team worked to create the 4,600-square-foot space, which formerly housed an Ed Hardy General Store. The space is located on the corner of Melrose and Kings Road and across the street from a Vivienne Westwood flagship.

The Connected Wall at the front of the store is surrounded by a pyramid stud wall, which is reminiscent of Rebecca Minkoff’s popular pyramid stud accessories. The store will sell Rebecca Minkoff’s handbags, small leather goods, phone accessories, footwear and her jeans line, and there is a section toward the east end of the store devoted to her new athleisure line. Retail price points range from $48 for earrings to $598 for leather jackets.

In back of the sales floor, there’s a 750-square-foot Minkoff Projects space, which will serve as a place for galleries of rotating art, music and technology.

About 300 square feet of the flagship is reserved for another family project. Uri Minkoff will open the first location for his namesake Uri Minkoff store, which will offer men’s bags, footwear and small leather goods. The space will have a separate street entrance from Rebecca Minkoff. However, it will not feature Connected Mirrors. Retail price points will range from $150 to $450, he said.