The final day of Teen Vogue Fashion University was a short one, featuring only one speaker, but she was by far my absolute favorite and the one that I had been looking forward to all weekend! Erika Bearman, AKA Oscar PR Girl of Oscar de la Renta, delivered the "graduation" speech to all of the Edit/PR/Social majors at TVFU. Bearman is such an inspiration to me and her job is pretty much the epitome of what I would love to do one day as my career! Bearman had worked for Burberry and Dior before ending up at Oscar de la Renta at age 27 where she is now the Senior Vice President of Global Communications. Her words were inspiring and she was incredibly down to earth. During the Q&A session, someone asked about Oscar's passing back in October and how it had affected the company. Her reaction almost brought me to tears. There's a common misconception that the fashion industry is a cold, unemotional, and ruthless one, and at times this is true. However, there's also a very human side to it which blossoms from the relationships and partnerships created within these companies and brands. Bearman and de la Renta were not just colleagues, they were incredibly close friends. To see this very human reaction from someone in such a high power position in the fashion industry was incredibly humbling and everyone in that room shared a few moments remembering Oscar as she told us stories about his personality and professionalism.
Below, I've listed some of my favorite quotes from her talk and from the question and answer session.
"You have to do more than your job. Find yourself something that sets you apart. You aren't just working for your company, you're working for yourself. You are your own advocate."
"I just knew I wanted to like my work. I wanted to enjoy what I was doing."
"I was hungry and I see it in your faces. You have it too. You really want to get out there and do something."
"Luck does find magnetic, special people."
If you want to be successful "say yes to doing things before you think you're ready to do them."
"Don't be so hard on yourself - it takes a while to understand that someone is always going to be smarter, prettier, thinner... You are enough and you have to accept who you are and love yourself and who you are and share it in the world."
"Whenever you're doing something and you think you're done, think. Did I go the extra mile? Did I do everything that I could have done to the that to the best of my ability? Is there anything else I can do?"
"Every day is a learning process."
I am so happy and honored that I was able to meet and chat with Erika at TVFU! Check her on social media through the links below:
Oscar PR Girl Instagram // Erika Bearman Instagram // Oscar PR Girl Twitter