If you’re not familiar with Érika Santos, you need to be.
She majored in Consumer Trends and Behaviour before going on to earn her stripes as a creative consultant, PR and trend forecaster; she now prides herself on the title of digital and social media influencer. For Érika it’s about talking directly to the community she has built (1.1 million Instagram followers and counting) and sharing real experiences with realness.
We had the pleasure of meeting Érika ahead of London Fashion Week to talk about a very mutual love of London, Pret tuna sandwiches and top tips for creating a beautiful Instagram post. Here’s what you need to know.
You were here in the capital for London Fashion Week; what was the first thing you did after landing?
The first thing I always do is ensure that my schedule is completely planned out so that I can deliver for my audience and partners. That usually involves a sit down with my logistics partner (I have someone that specialises in this in each specific city) to go over my itinerary, my appointments, show schedule, photoshoots, events, etc.)
Once that’s done, I’ll head to Pret a Manger for my favorite tuna sandwich – it makes my day!
What do you love about London?
Where do I start? London is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world so it brings endless possibilities – there’s such an incredible creative industry, and so much to experience especially when it comes to culture and cuisine.
Aesthetically it is beautiful and the amount of green across the city is so unique. There are places – quaint cottages and villages – in London that feel like you’re in the countryside. I also love taking the tube whenever I can to immerse myself in the London experience, I truly believe that it’s becoming the capital of the world.
Best place you wined and dined?
I actually have a couple. I love Sketch on Conduit Street as the space is just amazing.
I also absolutely love TĪNG located in the Shangri-La Hotel, at The Shard; the view, the experience and food is amazing! For something on the go, as said, I just love Pret A Manger (not only is the food great, but I really like the idea that everything is prepared fresh on the day, without chemicals or preservatives and what it does not sell in a day is given to charity at night – such an amazing concept).
Beauty treatment you indulged in and the results?
I had the pleasure of meeting Suzanne Martin of Suzanne Martin Aesthetics for an eyebrow appointment. Suzanne, who worked as makeup artist for Christian Dior for over 10 years, specialises in micro-needling which is a form of semi-permanent eyebrow makeup. The Couture Brow, is a bespoke treatment that works according to the natural face shape of each individual.
Suzanne is ultra elegant and educated, a true professional and I would certainly recommend her to anyone in London looking for beautiful brows – she is currently based in the The Lanesborough Club & Spa so the experience is wonderful.
Most beautiful London landmark?
I guess for me it’s about the unique spaces I enjoy or have enjoyed being in and so I have two: St. Jame’s Park and Battersea Power Station and park. I used to have a flat just across the bridge from the park and my husband and I always enjoyed that space so much. I am anxious to see how the Battersea project will look like once it’s done.
If you were Mayor of London for the day, what would you enforce?
Gosh, that’s a tough question. I guess I would make an effort from a financial stand-point to invest in or incentivise companies (from all sectors) that are focused on bringing innovative concepts to the public sphere; concepts that are also socially and ethically engaged.
What recommendation would you give to someone visiting for the first time?
I would recommend looking into the best times to visit as there are occasions when London absolutely blossoms and other times when the weather can make experiencing the city more challenging. There is so much to see and do, so much diversity – so I’d highly recommend timing a visit right.
Best show you attended during London Fashion Week, and why?
Richards Quinn’s show because of the amazing collection and the for the unique presence of Queen Elizabeth II who awarded Richard Quinn for this remarkable contribution to the fashion industry. A royal exit to LFW FW18 is hard to top!
What are your three top tips for creating a beautiful Instagram post?
I come from the fashion business and evolved into the digital and social media component of it. Given that I always take the view that I have to provide my community with insights, information and content that adds value to them, I take a very journalistic approach to my posts so for me I would say that:
1) It’s all about CONTENT and providing not just beautiful imagery but also talking/writing about it in comprehensive manner
2) It’s all about GIVING and ADDING VALUE TO YOUR COMMUNITY
3) It’s all about TRUTH; only post what you truly believe in, think about adding value and providing a different point of view
Who did you last follow on Instagram?
It was @heavenplease a new brand that i just meet in LFW. They are from Hong Kong; meeting and speaking with them I saw the work they put into their product, the thought that goes behind every innovation and their approach with the consumer; beautiful and fresh.
Where are you headed next on your travels?
My next trips include the red carpet for Cinema Festival of Cannes, followed by Mykonos and Santorini as I am set to model for a campaign by a French brand named Floriane Fosso. I am then in Paris to cover Haute Couture Week in June after which I will take take a nice break (as much of a break as I can, though in social media there is no real break) and spend three months at home in Greece with my husband to recharge ahead of the next Pret a Porter in London, Milan and Paris again. For sure there are engagements in between but those are the main ones.
Biggest thing you want to achieve in 2018?
Equilibrium between my work, my family and my spirtual life. Without balance I don’t feel I can do my job as well. Social media and being an influencer with the responsibility that it carries means that you can get totally absorbed in it and your life can quickly become myopic. I feel that in order to properly “influence”, meaning giving really valid and insightful information to my community, I need to live life, be a “normal” person, appreciate and live my family life thus really be able to see things for how they actually are and not become absorbed in the world of social media.
When are you next in London and what do you want to see/do that you missed out on this time?
So much, it’s too hard to say! One thing that comes to mind right away is returning to the Aveda store in Coven Garden with more time, and really spend time visiting exhibitions and museums that I haven’t had the chance to in the years I’ve been visiting.
To see more of Erika’s jet-set life follow her on Instagram here.