In the world of New York fashion, Erika Bearman, SVP of Global Communications at Oscar de la Renta is an American style trendsetter. Photographed and interviewed at fashion shows, charity galas and fashion magazine dinners, she leads the life that Carrie Bradshaw dreamed of in Sex and the City. But what separates Erika from New York’s other socialites is her social media savvy. She has 319,000 Twitter followers and 475,000 Instagram fans. She’s one of the most influential fashion insiders on social media.
What’s so interesting is that Erika is so down-to-earth. In a world that spawns very large egos, she’s stayed humble and grounded. Perhaps that is part of her success. She lives a glamorous life, but knows how fortunate she is and works really, really hard. We sat down with her recently to hear her incredible story.
Erika Bearman: In her own words
The concept of OscarPRGirl started from nothing. It was a small idea that got big: tell more people about the brand from my perspective. It started as a twitter account with zero followers. Today it’s seven social media platforms with almost 3 million followers.
The most important lesson I’ve learned about social media is just to be yourself, project what you know is unique about you. Have one vision statement in your mind that you can go back to when you need to be inspired about what you are doing whether it is for a brand or you personally.
The secret to instagram photos? Beauty! Everyone wants to see something gorgeous.
My first job after college was assisting the head of public relations for Giorgio Armani Cosmetics and Fragrances at L’Oreal. One day the girls at Armani fashion invited me to a charity dinner and I had to borrow a dress. I remember I picked out this beautiful orange printed gown and when I put it on I thought, “okay…”
My best advice for someone wanting to enter the fashion industry? Do your absolute best even when the task is small. Don’t take anything personally. Remember you have to create the job you want for yourself. No one is going to give it to you.
A typical day? Every day is different and a learning process. That is one of the most valuable lessons I learned from Oscar – to focus on what’s in front of you.
My essential beauty products: Aquaphor, which I use all over my face, pretty much. Lancôme art liner. MAC lipstick in Blankety.
My wardrobe may be less than you think. Right now I’m wearing a leotard or a bodysuit almost every day with a simple skirt and pointy toe pumps. At some point that will change. Maybe. I love coats and I have a million. And swimsuits. Too bad you can’t wear that everyday, a swimsuit and a fur coat.
I love men’s fragrances; I’ve been wearing them since I was a teenager. I like bold spicy notes like black pepper and tobacco.
I work regularly Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair. This entails sending samples for photo shoots, working together on feature stories. It’s amazing to work with so many of the most creative and talented people in the industry whether they are in magazines, styling, hair, makeup, photography….
My apartment is a little bit of everything. You know, I never really decorated it. But my husband and I are moving in the summertime so I am going to be a bit more focused about it this time. Miles Redd is decorating our new apartment.
The most interesting people I’ve met in my career are the ones who devote their time to helping other people.
My best style tip is to wear big earrings for evening. Oscar always said it was a great compliment to the face to have something that moves.
My cocktail of choice is tequila.
My favourite restaurants in New York City are Il Cantinori. Tamarind. The Lamb’s Club.
What am I listening to on my iPod? How much time do you have????
My regular Starbucks order is Peach tea. I stopped drinking coffee. Isn’t that awful?
My favourite movies are Great Expectations with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke, The Thomas Crown Affair (the newer one), Madonna’s documentary Truth or Dare
Have I introduced a new generation to Oscar? I don’t want to give myself too much credit. People have known for a long time about the beauty and the glamour that Oscar has always represented. Maybe more people know now, because of me. That’s great, if it’s true. I have always felt that Oscar de la Renta represents the best possible life, the most glamorous things on the planet. That is what our followers want to see.
I’m inspired by Bond Girls. My favourite is Ursula Andress for the white bikini – with a knife.
The launch: Extraordinary Oscar de la Renta
“There is always an emotional element to everything that I make, especially when it comes to creating fragrances. There has to be. Fragrance after all, is all about emotions.” – Oscar de la Renta
Favourite comment: Oscar loved to use the word “extraordinary” to describe something that her really loved – be it a ball gown or one of his beloved gardens
The scent: a sparkling, woody floral
The notes: lush neroli, dewy cherry blossom, rose, plush peony, blonde woods, amber resin, vanilla orchid
Extraordinary Oscar de la Renta, eau de parfum, 90 ml, $98
It’s available in Canada at thebay.com and Hudson’s Bay stores