There were never any doubts in Rebecca Minkoff’s mind that she was going to pursue her dreams of becoming a world-renowned fashion designer—but it’s hard to predict all that this encompasses. Minkoff is not only the founder and face of a global brand, but she is a wife to actor and director, Gavin Bellour, as well as a mother-of-two to her son, Luca, and daughter, Bowie.
Rebecca Minkoff’s apparel, footwear, jewelry, accessories, and most famously known handbags embody her “downtown romantic” aesthetic, cool-girl innovation, and millennial-focused streetwear. Minkoff’s influence in pioneering a consumer-focused fashion week, as well as the launch of “RM Superwomen”—a new social platform highlighting women’s rights activists—shows this designer is all about changing the game. (Yes, many of the iconic outfits seen at the 2018 Women’s March are from Minkoff’s “The GRL PWR” line.)
With one Google search, headlines featuring the powerfully-brilliant Minkoff fall in line—yet little mention the fact that the 37-year-old is expecting her third child during this year’s New York Fashion Week.
As she inspires entrepreneurs (both men and women), goes against the grain in efforts to bring the traditional fashion industry into the digital age, and celebrates female empowerment, Minkoff also thrives in her role as a mom. Her life is far from ordinary, but it works—and she is proof that strong women can have it all, even when pregnant.
Mom lifestyle expert Pamela Pekerman got the chance to catch up with her long-time friend Rebecca Minkoff to discuss how motherhood fits into her whirlwind life:
Motherhood taught her the importance of empowering others: “You know it’s funny, prior to having children, I worked till midnight every night—I didn’t think anything of it. I worked weekends, traveled…I never had anything I had to get home to. The minute I had my son it was really important to me that I was going to raise him. I was not going to pay someone else to raise the child that I birthed. So, I think it was about finding my new boundaries and making sure that I had to be OK with empowering others to do good work, to make mistakes, and really depending on a team. I think it is really key if you have a crazy business or you are starting a business and you’re a mom or you want to become one that you surround yourself with people you can trust."
There was never a defining moment she felt established enough to have children: “One never feels established. I think as an entrepreneur I don’t know a single entrepreneur who is like yes, I’ve made it I can kind of sit back and relax. I just didn’t feel ready prior as a human. I still wanted to go out all night, I still wanted to travel—I didn’t want to report to anybody. Even while pregnant with my son I didn’t want to verbalize it so I would text my husband—he’d be sitting right next to me—and I’d be like, “I don’t know why we did this, why did I want a child?” The minute he came out I was like, what is wrong with me and why did I ever worry about that? Now when I do go out to do young people things I’m like, I’d rather be home right now. I just want to go hang out with my kids. Not that I don’t want to be an adult but the things I thought I would miss, I don’t.”
She had no idea what type of mom she wanted to be: “It’s funny, if I look back I had no concept of who or how I would be as a mom, I just knew my mom made our childhood about having a lot of fun and so that was the one thing—if I have kids I just want them to have a lot of fun. So other than that, no one could have prepared me mentally for who I am as a mom.”
She tries not to take parenting too seriously: “I think if you look at the fact that as a race we have survived, I think now there are so many books on how to parent, what you should do right, and what’s wrong. I think the fact that we have been able to survive without any of those books and it’s not like we are surviving better with them. I think there are more barriers and more just anxieties and neurosis since all these rules have applied. You know if you look at that movie Babies you see these parents in Africa who go hunting and leave their 9-month-old to fend for itself, you know and I think just—not that you are going to embrace that in New York City. Just relax a little bit and really try to raise them as tiny adults, you know. Treat them like adults and they happen to be in a little body.”
She believes in complimenting the rightness in another woman: “Right now there is so much talk about being equal. When we start mom shamming we are just making it harder on ourselves to ever be equal, right? Because we are already starting that pecking order and that pushing each other down and judging each other—that helps none of us rise together and the only way we are going to kind of win the equality fight is if we are a team. I think there are many different ways to parent and not one lane of them is wrong. I’m not perfect, I have had thoughts too or have said things that were inappropriate, but I think the more you can just compliment the rightness in another woman and what they are doing. And also Instagram is not real, you can’t just judge base on a mom’s Instagram feed of their highly curated life that you’re like, oh she must never see her children.”