Everyone loves to play dress up, whether it’s for the Met Gala or just another girl’s night out – and accessories are always a big part of the fun. For the last 30-plus years, the New York-based and internationally celebrated accessories brand Erickson Beamon has adorned celebrities from Sarah Jessica Parker and Angelina Jolie to First Lady Michelle Obama.
During a recent trip to the UAE, Savoir Flair met with designer Karen Erickson and her daughters Mandie and Monique Erickson to delve deeper into the brand’s history. After a long discussion with the trio, two things were clear: Erickson Beamon is successful because of the people behind it, and family is everything.
Browse through Savoir Flair’s gallery to learn ten interesting facts about the unique accessories brand and shop a few of its key pieces through the links below.
Erickson Beamon is a family business.
Founders and spouses Karen Erickson (the designer) and Eric Erickson (the company’s CFO) work alongside their two daughters, pictured here. Mandie Erickson is the PR Director, while Monique Erickson is the muse and Brand Manager. “We all work well together, and we each wear our hat,” Monique tells Savoir Flair. “My mother is the creative force that steers our ship, without question, but we all work together.”
Erickson Beamon jewelry is handmade in NYC.
The artisans at Erickson Beamon have been with the brand for decades. “The Manhattan atelier has a team of 30 artisans, with mothers sitting next to their daughters, sisters, and nieces. If you’re lucky, you may even spot Vince the cat,” shares Karen. “It can take up to three days or more for an elaborate piece to be made in the atelier.”
Vince also plays a rather important role.
The black-and-white family cat is 19 years young, loves jumping around the office, and happens to be the inspiration behind the brand’s signature cat ears.
The brand has appeared in several productions.
The popular accessories brand has created pieces for critically acclaimed films such as Factory Girl and Elizabeth, and was even written into an episode of Gossip Girl.
The brand offers a lifetime guarantee.
“No matter how much time has passed since a purchase, Erickson Beamon offers customers a 100 percent lifetime guarantee,” explains Karen. “We have customers that have come back to us with pieces they’ve had for 30 years, passed on from their mothers, and we’ve fixed them, if necessary.”
Founders Karen and Eric are from Michigan, USA.
“We met at a Dead Head concert in Detroit, where Eric was a bouncer for the evening,” Karen reveals. “There were two rules at this party: nobody entered for free and everyone showed ID. This lovely lady at the front door let me in, didn’t ask for ID, and didn’t make me pay. He was very upset and told me I had to leave. I said I wasn’t getting off my stool, so Eric picked me up – stool included – and carried me out onto the street. Two months later, he showed up at my doorstep.”
The brand pioneered the ear-cuff trend.
“We first created ear cuffs for Alexander McQueen when he was at Givenchy,” Karen and Monique reveals to Savoir Flair.
Designer Karen Erickson is a celebrated artist.
Karen is credited with coining the term “chandelier earrings” after creating her ‘Dollhouse’ earrings, which are permanently on display at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Someone once asked her, “How do you think out of the box?” Quite aptly, Karen replied, “No one ever told me there was a box.” The jewelry designer is also an accomplished artist, with her chandeliers, mannequins, and mirrors housed at various museums around the world, including the revered Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The brand has worked with many fashion bigwigs.
Over the last three decades, Erickson Beamon has collaborated with some of the world’s biggest brands such as Dior, Alexander McQueen, Zac Posen, Marchesa, and Donna Karan.