Black Cake founder and owner Erika Mark’s story begins in Youngstown, Ohio where she grew up. At a young age, Erika’s parents encouraged her to be the creative, independent, unique, and free spirit she is today. Much of Erika’s childhood was spent playing dress up in her grandmother’s vintage slips and jewels. In third grade Erika wrote to Esprit to declare her undying love for them – she wanted to work for them when “she grew up.” By the 5th grade Erika became enamored with Marilyn Monroe and started dressing up in leopard print, fur boleros and red lipstick so she could be just as fabulous as the blonde bombshell!
Erika took the first steps in pursuing her dreams by studying fashion first at Philadelphia University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and then in Florence, Italy. After returning to the states, Erika moved west to pursue her career in fashion – seeking the individuality, freedom, and magic of Hollywood, California! She has since worked with such high fashion names as Betsey Johnson, Baby Phat, Nanette Lepore, True Religion, and Christian Audigier.
Black Cake’s epic adventure began when Erika came across a box of vintage lingerie at an estate sale. Needless to say, she bought it and became obsessed with hunting everywhere for more sexy pieces. She soon built a collection for herself envied by many of fellow fashionistas and knew she could not stop there. Erika decided to embellish her vintage lingerie treasures with both new rhinestones and actual vintage jewelry adornments. The pieces were so beautiful she realized they could not be confined to her bedroom alone, but worn for all to adore! After all, Erika believes all women she be should dress sexy and sophisticated, just like Marilyn.
Photo Credit: Jazz Beitler