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Meet Erika Mark of Black Cake Clothing in Hollywood

Posted on 12 June 2017

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erika Mark.

Erika, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Black Cake Clothing always delivers the yummy! Established in Hollywood, CA and Made in the USA, you can have your cake and wear it too!

My journey as a designer began in Youngstown Ohio where I grew up. At a young age, my parents encouraged me to be the creative, independent, unique, free spirit I am today. Much of my childhood was spent playing dress up in my grandmother’s vintage slips and jewels. By the 5th grade I became enamored with Marilyn Monroe and started dressing up in leopard print, fur boleros and red lipstick. I wanted to be just as fabulous as the blonde bombshell!

I took the first steps in pursuing my dreams by studying fashion at Philadelphia University and in Florence, Italy. After returning to the states, I moved west to pursue my career in fashion – seeking the individuality, freedom, and magic of Hollywood. I have since worked with such high fashion names as Betsey Johnson, Baby Phat, Nanette Lepore, True Religion, and Christian Audigier.

Black Cake Clothing’s epic adventure began after I was laid off. I was at an estate sale and I stumbled across a magical box of sexy vintage clothing. The box consisted primarily of lingerie styles like peignoir sets and slips. At the time, I had no idea that this box would evolve into Black Cake.

Needless to say, I bought the box of vintage clothing from the estate sale and quickly became obsessed with hunting everywhere for more sexy pieces. I soon built a massive collection but did not stop there. Inspired by my collection, I went to work.

Black Cake was first unveiled aboard the Queen Mary ship in Long Beach, California at the Ink N Iron Festival. Quickly, a clientele base of tantalizing burlesque dancers, gorgeous pinup dolls, and other babelicious bombshells was built. The success at Ink N Iron led me to England where I unveiled the line to Black Cake’s fans abroad at the London Tattoo Convention. Fast forward and came fabulous trunk shows at the Hard Rock Hotel Vegas, photo shoots on the Sunset Strip, celebrity styling and Hollywood fashion shows. Black Cake evolved into a cult brand that indulges rock luxury, embraces old-school Hollywood glam, and adds a hint of sexy decadence.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Of course there are always bumps in the road. When I started the line, I did not know where I was going with it… I have spent many many many late nights at my home in Hollywood, with my 3 dogs, figuring this out. As a self-financed one woman show, I wear many hats and am involved in every aspect of my business. This can be extremely overwhelming and stressful at times. In addition, manufacturing a high-end line domestically has its own challenges.

Sometimes I think I am beyond crazy, absolutely mad, and insanely bonkers for having a clothing line. Starting a clothing line has such an extremely high overhead and is very risky. Competition is severe. However, I live by the core belief that as you follow your passion the world becomes a better place. Black Cake is my passion.

Black Cake Clothing – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Black Cake is best known for our sexy silhouettes and unique, lush fabrics. Our must have item is the Starlet Lace Wrap Dress. Proudly made locally, Black Cake caters to a women’s femininity, confidence and individuality. We produce small quantity to keep the line exclusive.

My greatest pleasure comes when I see my fans adorned in my designs.

What do you feel it takes to be successful?
Faith, plain and simple, Faith in yourself, faith in your decisions, and faith in God.

What were you like as a child?
LOL my mother had to help me answer this question! I was always creative and choose paint brushes over sports balls. Even though I was creative I was also very serious. I enjoyed reading anything- from Sweet Valley Twins to Newsweek to 3-2-1 Contact. When my mother and I took a trip to the mall I choose books over clothing- she would shop and leave me in the bookstore where I would speed read through the latest Babysitters Club… I loved being around the “babas” which is Ukrainian for grandmother, or in my world, anyone older. My grandparents, Honey and Nick, owned a bar and I could often be found drinking a Coca-Cola or coffee given to me by my Romanian great-grandmother, Buna, who formed a play area in the middle of the bar for me from empty crates. There were 2 great aunts as well. My Aunt Meme taught me how to cut my waffles and how to paint watercolors. My other Aunt, Cho Cha Jean took me on fantastic excursions on the bus to downtown Youngstown where we spent the day window shopping. During that era, jelly bracelets, neon colors, and fingerless lace gloves were the rage as seen on Madonna. I am very lucky to have had a great foundation- special thank you to my mom, dad and my #1 fan, my sister, Anna.

Pricing:

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Contact Info:

Image Credit:
PHOTOSHOOT WITH BRUNETTE MODEL:
Clothing: Black Cake Clothing
Brunette Model: Jess Adams
HMUA: Steffeney Bonilla Harris
Photographer: Devin Dygert
Location: Sunset Boulevard
Available at: www.blackcakeclothing.com
FB: Black Cake Clothing IG: BlackCakeClothing

PHOTOSHOOT WITH BLONDE MODEL:
Clothing: Black Cake Clothing
Brunette Model: Jill
HMUA: Steffeney Bonilla Harris
Photographer: Devin Dygert
Location: Sunset Boulevard
Available at: www.blackcakeclothing.com
FB: Black Cake Clothing IG: BlackCakeClothing

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