In Bed With Érika Santos
In a world where high fashion can so often feel out of reach—and, at times, frivolous—Brazilian influencer and blogger Érika Santos uses fashion to spread important messages. You can think of her as a fashion diplomat.
Santos, who is a psychologist by training and specializes in consumer behavior and trends, began working as a creative and public relations consultant. Later, she became a trend forecaster for such major fashion brands as Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Adidas, and Nike, as well as São Paulo Fashion Week, among others.
“I didn’t become a digital personality overnight,” she told us when we spoke with Santos during New York Fashion Week during her stay at Refinery Hotel.
Now, Santos has dipped her toes into pretty much every aspect of fashion, including branding, marketing, purchasing, franchising. Oh, and she’s also a champion of jiu jitsu. Santos is dedicated to engaging people, not only through fashion, but also wellness, fitness, and other markets.
Here, we get In Bed With…Érika Santos.
How did you start blogging and sharing your stories about travel and fashion?
When I started my Instagram in late 2011, after many years as a marketing and retail director for international brands, I had no idea what adventure lay ahead for me. I wanted another way to communicate, to share … more than 10 years of research and travel in a new way, to share experiences—and, of course, have a lot of work but have fun too!
I reunited interested (and interesting) people around my Instagram. From there, I created the blog Érika Santos, so I went the opposite way. I expanded my communication platform to be closer and to be able to talk more deeply about each subject, experience, or new discovery.
You have won various awards, what do you think has been key to your success as a travel and fashion blogger?
I really think that real passion and hard work—with a strategy—leads you to always improve and gives you the ability to change. Flexibility and a capacity to adapt is important too, but definitely the key is people: The people around you and real relations that you keep for life.
Where do you see yourself and your personal brand in the upcoming years?
I aim to use my voice more and more for causes that I believe in, and to help people in need. This is truly real happiness.
How many Fashion Weeks have you attended?
I have been covering Fashion Weeks for all the seasons in Paris, London and Milan since eight years ago! It has been such a journey! Every city has its own charm … and I am always so thrilled to see what’s happening every edition.
What do you love the most about Fashion Week? What keeps you coming back?
I’ve been a fashion correspondent for magazines such as L’OFFICIEL Brazil and write articles for my blog. And what I really love is discovering new designers and new brands. It’s all about the product—the product is the king—it’s not about the brand. Of course, the branding and marketing is important, but if the product is not good, nothing can help it.
If you could meet one fashion designer, who would it be and why?
Alexander McQueen, but unfortunately he is not here with us anymore. So I can say John Galliano: For me, they are the two most creative people in this industry worldwide.
Do you have any advice for those who would like to get noticed in the fashion industry and start attending Fashion Week?
It’s all about the relationship with the [public relations] agencies of each brand, so contact them and introduce yourself. Once you have their approval, you have to do your best to attend the show and write an article with all your impressions about the inspiration, collection and history behind it.
How do you prepare for fashion week?
There are a ton of logistics before each Fashion Week: Flights, transfers, hotels, SIM cards, drivers, visas, local money—then we have to prepare all the looks for each day, with all the details (makeup and hair) and RSVP to each show, presentation, event and dinner that week.
When you arrive in the city, you have fittings with the designers and brands that will dress you for their shows, receive the physical invitations and organize … closing contracts with the brands that are with me in all Fashion Feeks. There’s invoicing, and taking care of all details of the job, besides photoshoots and last-minute interviews or jobs that could happen.
What is it about New York City that inspires you?
New York inspires me in many ways. It was my first international trip from Brazil, so it has a special place in my heart forever. I remember when I arrived here and ate my first cheesecake. It has an emotional memory, and for me this is priceless. We travel to so many places, but in the end you will always remember the emotion you experienced there — so this makes New York City so special to me.
What are your favorite places in New York to escape the hustle and bustle?
Visiting a museum is something that really makes me disconnect and inspires me. But I love to eat as well, and there are so many amazing chefs and restaurants in New York City. Some of my favorites are the Greek restaurant Estiatorio Milos and the Korean restaurant Cote. A spa is something that I really really love to visit everywhere — to have this moment for me is the real luxury nowadays.
Can you recommend three must do’s for people visiting New York City?
Maybe it is obvious, but walk in Central Park, see one of the Broadway shows and see the Statue of Liberty!
For more from Érika Santos, visit her Instagram at @erikasantos. Read more interviews from Refinery’s In Bed With series here.