A Look at Erica Weiner’s Résumé
Between attending Vassar and starting her own jewelry business, Erica Weiner worked damn hard, doing the kind of jobs that required ingenuity—and a knack for dealing with children and very small celebrities. These are the gigs that eventually led her to her namesake line, which she launched from her kitchen table.
Costume-creator and leotard-repairer for the stage
“At the end of camp, my friend said, ‘Someone just dropped out of the wardrobe spot on a national tour that leaves like tomorrow. Can you go?’ I kind of knew about dance costuming, and I made my own clothes. So I had a phone interview from the camp telephone in the mess hall—with all the kids. I totally lied my way through it. I got the job, and I did it for two years, for shows like Fosse. We went around on this tour bus—60 dancers, 10 crew members, and 4 semis. I got good at fixing things and jerry-rigging stuff. If we were in Reno or Nebraska and a pair of earrings broke, I’d have to figure out how to get the goddamn parts in one day.”
Erica in her New York studio with her dog Bunny.
“I did a couple of years of unpaid fashion internships. I lived in my boyfriend’s apartment for free, and I was on food stamps for a year and a half—I was so poor. Eventually, I broke into the fashion world a little bit because I was good at getting things done without panicking. Somehow people heard that I could do stuff for fashion shows at the very last minute, so I got calls where people would say, ‘We need a whole dress by tomorrow’ or, ‘We need all of these dresses to go from cocktail-length to tea-length.’ I’d somehow do it, and I’d make what felt like a lot of money. It wasn’t very good for me, and I didn’t sleep a lot.”
Do-everything girl for a buzzy fashion line
“At Imitation of Christ, I did the line sheets, communicated with the buyers, made dresses, cast models, designed shoes, talked to factories, sketched, visited the factories in Midtown—a lot of work. I had some glamorous moments there, though. Mary-Kate Olsen was around a lot. I would do fittings and have to tailor dresses to her tiny, tiny body. It’d be her and me in a bathroom—her completely naked, me with a bunch of safety pins. I would think, ‘I’ve got to text my friends because this situation is so funny.’”