Photograph by Danielle Kosann

Since the launch of her first handbag—the Morning After bag—in 2005, Rebecca Minkoff’s creations have adorned the arms of fashionphiles around the globe. Now a leader in contemporary fashion, the New York-based designer creates not only bags, but apparel, accessories, and footwear, all trademarked by her romantic-meets-edgy design. To celebrate Minkoff’s latest handbag collection—a union of modern construction and sophisticated grunge—Saks Fifth Avenue is hosting a meet-and-greet this Friday from 4 to 6 pm, giving guests the chance to meet the famed designer while sipping cocktails and perusing the showcase. Herewith, a Q+A with Minkoff’s fall must haves and Santa Barbara must dos.

How would you define California stye? What separates it from everywhere else?

I would describe California style as relaxed chic. The low-key, cool vibe here is reflected in California girls’ style—they always look effortlessly put together.

What are your top five must haves for fall? 

A cozy sweater like my Mars stretch wool sweater is the perfect piece to live in all fall. My black leather Titan mini skirt is a must for the cooler months! Every fall, I pick up a pair of new boots; this season, my go-to boot is the Dalli zip ankle boot. Sneakers are a big trend right now, and my Deacon calf-hair sneaker is the perfect off-duty shoe! The Hudson moto is a new style for us for fall—it’s the perfect cross-body bag. 

How would you design for a Santa Barbara gal?

I think the Santa Barbara girl is interested in, of course, fashion, but also function. That’s the type of girl that I always design with in mind. Take my Harriet shadow leather dress for example—the leather panels makes it sexy enough for a date night, but the cut and color make it work appropriate…just throw on a blazer, like my Becky jacket, and voila—instant outfit change!

What are your top must dos when visiting Santa Barbara? 

If I’m visiting with my family, I love going to the Santa Barbara Zoo. My son Luca is 2 and I haven’t been able to bring him with me yet, but it’s an experience that I’d love to share with him. I’m a California girl, so no trip to Santa Barbara would be complete without a trip to the beach!

For more information or to RSVP for the event, call Kristi Marks, Saks Fifth Avenue marketing manager, at 805-884-5204.

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