We caught up with the down-to-earth designer at a recent event with Tresemmé — who, with lead stylist Jeanie Syfu, have been the masterminds behind those gorgeous hair looks backstage at Minkoff's shows for the past four years — and got the chance to ask her all of our burning questions. From why she won't tolerate fashion Mean Girls, to how she deals with backstage crashers and the scoop on whether a Minkoff beauty line is in the works, read on to learn more about this lovely lady.
How do you describe the Minkoff girl, and what is her beauty philosophy?
"We call her a sexy tomboy. I never feel like she's the type of girl who has a fancy, complicated updo. Our girl aspires to live downtown, if she doesn't already — or if she doesn't live near a city, her dream is the downtown cool girl. There's an ease to that girl, where you can do it yourself — although it may look better if someone helps you — but you're not getting crazy-perfect ringlets or fancy updos with a big bun. That's not who I am. I like a more relaxed look, so I think that's reflective. Last fall, we had a really messed-up bun and I kept telling Jeanie, 'Make it more messed-up. Make it more imperfect.'"
You've been at the forefront of livestreaming shows and giving those outside of fashion's elite the ability to participate. How do you strike that balance between accessibility and exclusivity?
"I think that we always try to push the boundaries in some form. Because it's the Wild West out there, we are constantly experimenting. We did a #VineWalk at our show, which was the very first one. We're just trying to be flexible and remain open-minded. If something works, great, but if it backfires on you, then we tried and at least we paved the way for others to be bolder in their decisions. One of the things I liked about having live music at our show was that if you're not there, you don't get that experience. That's important to me. If you come because you were invited, that there's still something that you get that not everyone else gets to experience."
Speaking of music, what is your process when you're deciding on the soundtrack for your show?
"I try to make it music that I love and hopefully other people love, too. So, because musicians are always on tour, or the Grammys are the same weekend as your show, we have a wishlist of artists we start thinking about two months out. We were two weeks out with Wild Cub [the live band who rocked her fall show]. We had to talk them out of cancelling a tour date, and then they weren't going to make it because of the storm, so we had someone whose job it was to watch the flight and make sure they got from the airport to Lincoln Center. Ideally, at the end of the day, it would be perfect with a year out [to plan]. But, it doesn't work that way because musicians' schedules are insane. I reached out for a band for this show a year ago and they were already booked on tour."
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