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2013 May 20

Rebecca Minkoff Talks Taylor Swift And Diet Coke's Young Designer Challenge

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(NEW YORK) Rebecca Minkoff is partnering with Diet Coke to judge their Young Designer's Challenge, a contest to come up with a t-shirt design for the brand. The winner will receive $10,000 and the chance to meet Diet Coke's celeb face, Taylor Swift, as she finishes her Red Tour in Nashville. Minkoff will judge the winner of the top 10 finalists, who's design will be sold in Target stores nationwide. We caught up with Minkoff and nabbed her advice on starting out in the biz, her fave new fashion trend, and what she has planned for summer.
BY PAIGE REDDINGER

Got any advice for the upcoming Young Designer's Challenge winner?
They should use this opportunity to take their brand forward. Make sure you stay in touch with all the people that you met...and make sure you come out with something really soon after this so you're still relevant!

How do you think the lucky winner should spend their $10K?
I started out with $10,000, and I felt the need to do things that, looking back now, I didn’t have to do. So pinch your pennies, use the money wisely, and make sure you really invest in something that will ultimately grow your company.

Wise words! What was the toughest aspect of starting your biz?
Having to do it all by myself! From making the clothes to selling them to marketing them to doing the PR, I was a one-woman show.  You can only grow so much doing that, so it was really a relief when I could finally hire my first employee. Then, I partnered with my brother [Uri Minkoff], who's now the CEO of my company. That made it so that he could focus on the business and I could really worry about design.

What have been some of the greatest lessons that you’ve learned along the way?
I think the greatest lesson I’ve learned is to be persistent. There is no easy path. Some people make it big and it looks really easy, but that’s a lot of people making it look easy. It’s a lot of hard work, and you’ll constantly have failures and you winning, is you getting back up and you keep going.

There's a Taylor Swift meeting opportunity as part of the competition! Are you a fan?
I think she's a really talented musician! Her song "Red" actually resonates perfectly with Diet Coke because of its beautiful red lettering.

So, are you a Diet Coke addict?
I am definitely a drinker of a lot of Diet Coke.

What are your own wardrobe staples from your collection?
I have to say I’m never without a Rebecca Minkoff handbag. Also, we just recut our West Moto jacket for summer and I basically wear it everyday.

What's your favorite summer trend?
Definitely the color mint! It was really strong in the spring, and I see it continuing for summer now that we're all going to be getting a bit of a tan.

J'adore! What're your summer plans? Any fun jaunts? 
I might be visiting the Hamptons a little bit. And I have a really great opportunity to go to Bermuda. It’s work-related, but I’m not complaining that I’m going to be on a gorgeous beach while I’m working!

There are 11 days left for submission in the contest, darlings. Take on the challenge by applying at DietCoke.com!




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