Industry Insight: Career Advice from OscarPRGirl

by Meghann Stelzner, Fashion Writer
Erika BearmanFor a long time the voice behind Oscar de la Renta was a mystery. Who was this brunette beauty always walking in heels and taking selfies in gorgeous gowns? When the label finally drew the veil of “OscarPRGirl,” it was revealed that the magical voice behind Oscar’s social media was the lovely Erika Bearman.

With more than 250,000 Twitter followers and counting, this social media guru has a fun, playful, and sophisticated voice that represents the fashion house in a unique way. Bearman is one of several executives that tweet about the fashion label and successfully masks the prestige and exclusivity of the brand in a way that people can relate. When asked about her voice in an interview by the Business of Fashion website, Bearman said she tends to be, “a little bit bold, kind of glamorous, and ultimately lighthearted” with her social media voice. She then explained that “Oscar always asks that all elements of [the] brand, from the clothes to…advertising, convey a sense of joy” and she “hope[s] that [Oscar’s] Twitter has a dose of that same spirit.”

When she first began tweeting, Bearman realized that many of Oscar’s clients were not on Twitter at all. Because of this, she decided that it was the perfect time to cater to a completely new niche. In an interview with The Coveteur, Bearman said that she is, “best known…for taking the brand’s reputation for outfitting ladies who lunch, to ladies (and girls) who tweet at lunch.” She explained that, at first, she focused exclusively on promoting the clothes, but then began to show bits of her personality upon noticing the growing amount of feedback on Twitter.

Now, at age 32, Bearman is the Senior Vice President of Global Communications for Oscar de la Renta. After visiting New York City last month and meeting Bearman at Teen Vogue Fashion U, it was made all the more evident that she is nothing but an inspiration. In dedicating her time to provide aspiring fashion professionals with knowledge and insight about the industry, Bearman disclosed that it took her a long time to realize that she wanted to pursue a career in fashion. She explained that she “was definitely not one of those girls born as a fetus loving Christian Louboutin or Yves Saint Laurent.” Rather she “majored in Art History and Women’s Studies” as so many would not expect.

Additionally, Bearman emphasized the importance of possessing persistence and determination when pursuing a career in the fashion industry. She said that “you have to have a hunger” and that you must “take what you want and…never say ‘this is the wrong time’ when an opportunity arises.” She told the Fashion U attendees to ask themselves, “What could I change that has not been done? Did I do everything I could do? Could I have done one extra step to make it better?”

While this advice was truly insightful, the best advice Bearman gave at the conference was that there are no right or wrong answers. As college students struggle with trying to understand whether or not they will be able to seamlessly transition into the professional world, they are often confronted with a variety of questions. Yet for Bearman, there is no set answer. She believes that you must simply approach life with curiosity, allowing your passion and interests to guide you. Additionally, she expressed the importance of knowing that everyone makes mistakes, and what separates people professionally is whether or not they can learn from them. Personalizing this thought, Bearman revealed that she once unveiled a Vogue magazine cover before the issue had been released, and “although it was terrifying at the time [she] learned from it, and Oscar still jokes about it to this day.”

While Erika Bearman’s success is seen as an inspiration, her determined, modest, and honest personality are perhaps her most inspirational qualities of all. In Bearman’s own words, success “in such a materialistic, superficial industry…is really about [possessing] an inner strength;” something every individual should possess upon entering the cutthroat world of professionalism.

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