By Sarah Dion-Marquis
Photography by James Park
Erica Wark spent two years looking for the right job in the fashion industry. Once she found it, she left her very stable retail position in a high-end store to brand herself as a style expert.
“I’m a calculated risk-taker,’’ says the Ottawa native, who is a self-admitted entrepreneur. “I always knew that working a nine-to-five desk job wasn’t for me. So every week, I work non-stop. Fashion is my second nature.’’
Many have seen Wark on the CBC program Steven and Chris, or on CTV Ottawa. In every television segment, she styles herself, as well as the models she chooses to promote a particular look or brand. Over the past year, she has promoted many different brands, including BCBG, Banana Republic, Lacoste and Dynamite. Wark explains that depending on what the producer wants, she decides which brand would be best represented in that particular segment.
For example, in September, she contacted the head office of Gap Kids to get some clothing for a back-to-school segment on CTV Ottawa. Her job as a style expert often means working with public relations companies to promote their brands on television.
“In order to do my job, you need to have good industry contacts,” she adds.
For her segments on CTV, Wark also always pulls clothes from local stores. She wants to be sure that the outfits she presents on television are accessible to her audience.
Wark keeps herself busy by engaging in different assignments. In a given day, she might be presenting 10 different looks on television, doing a radio interview and writing a post on her blog.
“To have a successful career in fashion in the 21st century, you need to be able to do everything,” she adds.
She also takes clients shopping to help them find clothes that best suit them. Wark says that people are often ready for a change, but they don’t know how to do that with clothing. She helps clients of all ages and backgrounds. One day, she may be guiding a student who wants to dress up for a job interview, another – a business woman who is looking for a formal outfit for work.
“The one-to-one time I spend with clients makes me do my television job better. I can relate fall trends to all forms of life,’’ she explains.
Wark can also rely on her extensive experience in the fashion industry. She has worked as a model and interned at DDB, one of the largest advertising firms in New York City. As the financial crisis hit America, Wark made her way back home to Canada, later working in Ottawa as an assistant manager at Michael Kors.
Her new career is different. “Every day is a challenge, but it’s a good challenge,” she admits. “I want to make myself and my styling work unique, and reach more people.”
FAJO Magazine would like to thank 90 George for providing the location for this photoshoot.