updated 10 Jul 2014, 03:00
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Thu, Jun 26, 2014
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7 things in her bag: Erika Bearman
by Stacey Chia

If there is one person working at luxury brand Oscar de la Renta with almost as much star power as the famed designer, it is Ms Erika Bearman.

The vice-president of communications for the brand, better known by her online moniker, OscarPRGirl, is the face and voice behind all the brand's social media channels - Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and even Chinese microblogging website Sina Weibo, with help from her Chinese colleagues.

Maintaining all the accounts is part of her job, but the 32-year-old adopts a personal approach towards it.

Aside from documenting what goes on behind-the-scenes at the fashion house, the OscarPRGirl Instagram account is peppered with her OOTD (Outfit of the Day) photographs. The account has more than 300,000 followers. With her svelte figure and sharp features, the brunette could well be mistaken for one of the models featured on the Instagram account.

On Twitter, where she has over 280,000 followers, she also dishes out beauty tips and musings on life (for example, "You cannot be defined by what others think of you").

She first tweeted as OscarPRGirl in 2009, which made the 49-year-old brand a pioneer of social media marketing within its industry.

"Oscar was legendary even before I was born. When I became his publicist, I used to think, 'what can I do for this man that hasn't already been done?'. Social media was new and it was what I could contribute," says Ms Bearman, who is married to a trader. She was here for the recent Audi Fashion Festival.

She started her career as the assistant to the head of communications at Giorgio Armani Beauty. Prior to joining Oscar de la Renta, she also worked in the communications teams at Burberry and Dior.

"I think we've been successful on social media because it's a personal take on the brand. But not every bit of my life is on Instagram." She recently started another account (erikabearman) for more personal photographs.

Ms Bearman, who graduated with an English degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, says that she never dreamt of working as a fashion publicist.

"When I was in college, I didn't know what a PR person was or did. Apart from being a designer, I didn't know what the other jobs in fashion were."

While she is often seen decked out in Oscar de la Renta cocktail dresses and gowns on Instagram, she shares that there are other brands in her wardrobe.

"I love mixing high and low. I'll wear an embroidered skirt from Oscar with a T-shirt from Topshop," she says, adding that she enjoys shopping at the high street chain, American Apparel and Zara.

"No woman dresses from head-to-toe in one designer and Oscar will tell you that himself."

Her bag

This is an Oscar de la Renta clutch and it's as big as my bag will ever get. I've always liked the idea of a smaller bag. I think if you have a big bag, you tend to fill it up.

7 things in her bag

1. Credit card

I don't have a wallet, just a credit card. My grandmother told me that she saw the late Jacqueline Kennedy (former First Lady of the United States) shopping in the late '60s and all she had was a credit card in the back pocket of her jeans. No purse, no wallet and I always thought it was so classy.

2. Photo

This is a photo I travel with. It's of my husband and me. We met through friends and it was love at first sight.

3. M.A.C lipstick

This shade is called Myth - it's an amazing nude colour. I use so many different nude shades that I could make a list of the best. My lips are naturally quite red, so I tend to wear lighter colours to tone them down a little.

4. Henri Bendel mirror

A former intern gave this mirror to me as a farewell gift. We first met at the Teen Vogue Fashion University event. She impressed me with how much she knew about Oscar de la Renta and me, even my nickname Shiny, hence the mirror. One of my bosses used to call me that because everytime I passed by a mirror or reflective surface, I would look at it.

5. Eucerin Aquaphor lip balm

I don't need this in Singapore because it's very balmy, but in New York where it's dry, I'll put this on my lips, cheeks and even on my eyelids. It makes me look dewy.

6. NARS lipgloss

My favourite make-up artist in New York, Ashlee Glazer, put this on me for the Met Gala last month and gave it to me to take in my bag. It's called Sweet Revenge.

7. Oscar de la Renta earrings

Before I joined Oscar, I never wore big earrings, but he loves big earrings and it sort of rubbed off on me. Now I see why he likes them on women; they really complement my face and light up my eyes. I wouldn't wear these earrings all day, but I would have them in my clutch to put on when necessary.

This article was first published on June 6, 2014.
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