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A Woman You Should Meet: Erica Wark

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Women

A Woman You Should Meet: Erica Wark

By: Bianca Teixeira|March 6, 2015

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You work mainly as a stylist now, but you actually started in the fashion industry as a model, right?

Yes! I started modelling when I was 13, so I was involved in fashion at a very young age. I did it because I loved playing with clothes. As I got older I really wanted to do more than just modelling, I wanted to have a voice in the industry. I wanted to talk to people, designers, stylists, makeup artists and ask why they chose what they chose. I was fascinated. I thought maybe I’d go into writing for a fashion magazine or something. Clearly that didn’t end up happening and now here I am.

How did you get started in styling?

When I was in university, I worked part-time at various retailers while I was still modelling and juggling everything. I realized I loved working with women and making them feel good about themselves, it was such a high for me and I knew it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. When I graduated I did some internships in New York in marketing and advertising. When I came back to Ottawa, modelling agencies started booking me for various styling gigs and I was just completely hooked. In February 2010 I was booked for an ambush makeover show with a morning show here in Ottawa and I did two days of filming. I ambushed unsuspecting people and I just remember going home and thinking this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I have no idea how I’m going to get there, but I know this is what I want to be doing. They started booking me more and more and things grew. I ended up in Toronto and here I am. The rest is history.

What would some of your fashion tips for men be?

I’ve been dressing men longer than I’ve been dressing women because I have two younger brothers, a father and a fiancé. My first experiences were styling men. I would say the most important thing across the board is fit. I mean tailored perfectly, suiting specifically. I’m even talking sport blazers, and denim. I think men buy the wrong size or the wrong cut for their body size. My advice for men is to pay attention to fit. It shouldn’t be too tight, but it shouldn’t be oversized either.

What are more things that men don’t wear well?

I’ve seen a lot of men wear socks with sandals. Not in a cool editorial way. I wish that would just stop. Also I dislike when men wear shorts and a nice dress shirt and socks with loafers. Pleated pants. I wish they would go away. I think men get complacent in their fashion because not many are interested in it, they aren’t really thinking they need an update. So I think men need to sort of self reflect what they are wearing everyday.

What would be some of your rules for updating a man’s closet?

When a man hasn’t shopped in a long time or has lost weight, or they’re up for a promotion, the easiest updates to get are the basics. By basics I mean a great pair of dark denim jeans or a pair of dress shoes that aren’t squared toed, more narrow—it’s an instant update. A sports jacket is so important.

Where can people see you regularly?

You can catch me on CTV’s The Social, Marilyn Denis and eTalk. Those are three regulars that I adore being on. I’m doing some work with the Junos, so that’s exciting. Canada as a whole fashion industry is great. It’s small and everyone supports each other and it’s a great time to be involved in fashion.

Serious question: everytime I see you you’re always dressed completely to the nines. What was your worst fashion faux pas?

[Laughs.] When I was in high school, like early years, I remember wearing grunge wear and everyone was listening to Kurt Cobain and we thought we were so cool. I wore baggy pants and boxers and crop tops and hideous shoes. That was probably the worst fashion phase of my life.

Everyone has stuff in their closet that they’re embarrassed the wore but can’t throw away!

You need to reinvent things. Look, I used to wear crop tops in grade 8 or whatever and now look how big they are again, but a more modern approach. That’s the beauty of fashion. Things come back, but in a more modern and elevated way.

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