Designer Rebecca Minkoff should win an award for selling some of the catchiest-named handbags on the market.
There's the Makeout Mini, Hookup Tote and bestselling Morning After Bag. And, new this spring, Knocked Up, a diaper bag with waterproof lining and a changing pad.
"I knew that to stand out, I wanted to relate the bags to experiences that girls have and can identify with," Minkoff explained from her New York City office. "I'm a romantic. So they are named after the different stages of love that people go through.
"It's a fine line, but we like to keep it fun."
Clearly, the graduate of St. Petersburg's Gibbs High School is on to something. Her bags are showing up all over the pages of fashion glossies and on the shoulders of models, actresses and girls who are famous just for being. "Lauren Conrad, Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan have crazy boosted my sales," Minkoff said.
The designer is returning to her former home turf Saturday for a trunk show at Zoey Bloom, an accessories boutique at 1710 Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. From noon to 6 p.m., fashionistas can chat with Minkoff and check out her purses.
Rocker chicks, take note. Minkoff's spring 2009 collection, "Almost Famous," was inspired by roadies who follow their boyfriends' bands, she said. Think lots of bold colors and gold studs.
Minkoff's pricey designs tend to mix classic with edgy, proper with funk. She says she finds her inspiration from all sorts of places, including vintage shops and flea markets.
The 28-year-old learned to sew when she was 8 and spent a lot of time in Gibbs' costume department. This spring, she returned to those apparel roots, relaunching the eponymous clothing line she produced from 2001 to 2005 before the demand for her handbags required full attention.
She has co-designed a small collection of jackets, pants, skirts and tops sold exclusively at the high-end Confederacy boutique in Los Angeles. She said more shops will pick up the line this fall.
By then, Minkoff will be married to actor Gavin Bellour. Their wedding is planned for Italy in June, and she is designing her dress.