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Checking Out: Uri Minkoff

The prolific ceo and co-founder of sibling Rebecca Minkoff’s fashion empire has built a software company, helped launch a tech-filled SoHo flagship and spearheaded a men’s footwear and accessories line

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You seem to have an affinity for technology. When did that begin?
My best friend retired from Microsoft at 27 and became really bored, so I suggested we build a software company. He liked the idea and we built an amazing company (Fortis Software LLC) [which we ran for] over 10 years.

Why did you become involved in your sister’s company?
My sister originally asked my parents for help financially, and they wouldn’t help her, but thought maybe I would. I believed in my sister and the market opportunity she saw, so we co-founded the company in 2005.

Siblings working together can sometimes be tough. What’s it like for you two?
Our relationship is great – both in and out of the workplace. While we sometimes have different opinions and views on how we should go about certain things, we have complementary skill sets, so we see things from different angles. In the end, we always find a way to apply these points of view and agree on what’s best for the brand.

No sibling rivalry?
Generally, no, not at all. We are very supportive. There were one or two times we called our father to settle a difference.

You recently helped open Rebecca Minkoff’s technology-laden flagship in SoHo, which VMSD featured in August 2015. What are you most proud of?
Seeing our “Store of the Future” concept come to life, and seeing the reaction on people’s faces, was truly my most amazing experience. To take a vision that was very hard to explain, then see it come to life and see people’s amazement, was so thrilling.

There had to be some stress involved, yes?
There was a lot of trial and error with our connected wall and dressing room features – that was the biggest stress for me because I knew the technology had to be flawless in order to be a meaningful part of our business.

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If you had eight hours to spend in your favorite location, where would you go and what would you do?
Japan; I love people-watching there. The use of color in every aspect of their culture is one of the inspirations for my menswear line (Uri Minkoff).  

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’
Minkoff was born in San Diego and credits the California lifestyle with shaping his outlook on life.

What inspires you?
Competence and great design.

Finish this sentence: The one thing I cannot live without is…
My family. I have four kids with whom I am utterly obsessed.

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