When covering the subject of style, there’s a lot to be learned from someone like Erika Bearman, whose branding and digital strategy work has been written about in Vogue and The Wall Street Journal. Nevermind that she counts Oscar de la Renta as a mentor and has been named to the Vanity Fair International Best Dressed List. “So what,” as Erika would say. “When you can, try to see around the corners.” Her advice rings true…it’s all about looking forward.
Erika’s latest venture is advising on the app Peanut, created to help connect a mobile-generation of young mothers. Peanut will be available February 15th in the App Store. She’s also busy raising the equally chic Electra, a tot with whom she hopes to share strength.
1. Have you had any memorable mentors? If so, how did you meet? What advice have they shared that’s stuck with you?
Oscar was such a defining presence in my adult life. Professionally, personally, everything. When I came to work for him I was in my mid-twenties. I had some experience in the industry, but I very much felt I should sort of ‘speak when spoken to’ in his presence. In the early days of my taking over the communications department I remember Oscar said to me one day “come over here, don’t stand against the wall.” I’ll never forget it. For some reason I thought I needed to be invisible – I think because his presence was so big and so important. But when he said that to me – I knew exactly what he meant. He wanted to see me and he wanted to hear me. That changed everything for me.
My other mentors who taught me leadership : Alex Bolen, Kristine Westerby, John Cross.
2. Your style is impeccable and you inspire me daily. Who, or what (since you’re an avid bookworm), inspires you?
Dance has always been a big inspiration for me and the way I dress – most days I’m in a leotard. But just the necklines of ballet I’ve always loved, the low backs. As a dancer sometimes you make own shapes – you cut your tights or crop a sweater. You wear something backwards. And I’ve always been inspired by hip hop. And all the femme fatales.
3. Favorite restaurants in NYC?
I love Il Cantinori. Raouls. The restaurant at BG.
4. Last thing you do before bed?
5. Most-loved pair of shoes of all time?
Too many to name. I always wear my favorite shoes to death. RIP.
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