It was a serendipitous beginning for Detroit natives Karen Erickson and Vicki Beamon. In the 1980s they moved to New York, and while working on their first fashion show, they realized that they needed jewelry to accessorize their runway looks. Improvising, they quickly strung crystal and beads on suede, and inadvertently launched a fashion phenomenon.
Today, Erickson Beamon’s creations are as desirable as ever. Their often dazzling, and always original statement pieces have a cult following and the list of celebrity fans ranges from Lady Gaga to Michelle Obama. Collaborations with fashion houses also remain at the heart of the business. They have designed custom pieces for numerous labels including Chanel, Givenchy, Anna Sui and Ungaro.
Erickson Beamon’s pieces are conceived by Karen and Vicki and handmade in their London and New York workshops. Vicki presides over the London operation while Karen oversees New York. Growing up in Detroit is a common bond that has had a major influence on their style. Says Vicki “Detroit was amazing in the 60s and 70s – there was such wide range of music and culture including a great mix of soul and rock. The thrift stores were incredible.
“The overall vision and design of a collection determines the materials that will be used. “Whether we use semi-precious stones or plastic, our secret is the eclectic mix of materials and components we source from all over the world, “ explains Vicki Beamon. However, a favorite component of an Erickson Beamon piece is Swarovski crystal – after all,
a bit of sparkle is a sure way into a girl’s heart.
Once the design inspiration is set, Karen and Vicki work directly with their in house artisans, producing their unique and lavish creations. The hours per piece vary considerably, a large piece could take a month to develop and many changes may occur before it is considered finished.
The symbiosis with the fashion world is key to the Erickson Beamon design aesthetic. And while collections are often spot on trend, the pieces have a timeless quality. Erickson Beamon artfully mix vintage inspiration, chains, beads, stones and crystals in collections that are so “now” but that you know your daughters or nieces will be desperate to borrow tomorrow.