Our first Beyond the Pencil (Skirt) features Erica Rothen, an associate and stylist at the online fashion destination, Rent the Runway.
We visited Erica at her office in the coveted Soho district of Manhattan, and chatted about her daily life both in and out of the office. We also got a sneak peek of her filming the latest “Fashionably Yours” episode, highlighting Rent the Runway’s top picks for Valentine’s Day.
Current city: New York
College/major: I attended Vanderbilt University where I majored in Human and Organizational Development (HOD) and minored in Art History.
Company: Rent the Runway is an online fashion destination that offers dresses and accessories for rent from over 160 different designers at 10-15 percent off the retail price. RTR aims to provide the ultimate Cinderella experience for all women.
Current position: I am currently a customer insights associate and stylist. Within this position, I offer styling advice to customers looking to rent for their upcoming events. I also work on a few side projects within other departments such as a web series called “Fashionably Yours” which highlights dress picks for various events. I also compose the fit notes for each dress which can be found in the size and fit tab next to each dress on the site.
Before this job: I was living the college life in Nashville.
How I ended up at my current position: It’s all about connections. I came into this position almost accidentally after meeting up with a friend of a friend. The rest is history.
Your office style in a few words: Casual and comfortable.
Style icon: Sarah Jessica Parker. She’s flawless at any age and always on top of the trends.
Staple pieces to splurge on: Handbags and statement necklaces.
Favorite store for bargain pieces: I love a good J.Crew sale.
On casual Fridays: Most days at RTR are on the casual side, so I typically sport my Madewell gray jeans, boots, a loose fitting top, and a fun scarf.
What bag do you carry to work and what are the essential items inside? I carry my J.Crew Brompton hobo bag almost every day filled with my Kate Spade wallet, Chapstick, bobby pins, headphones, Raybans and my iPhone.
Polished or buffed? Polished, but I love a love a simple color like Essie’s Pound Cake.
Heels or flats? Flats, mainly boots. I don’t do well in heels for more than a few hours.
Did you always think your career would be in fashion? If not, what profession did you anticipate going into? I had always hoped that my career would in some way involve fashion. Rent the Runway is the best of both worlds because it is a tech startup with a fashion focus. I feel like I am a part of a company that fulfilled all of my career hopes.
Favorite part of your job: Working with amazing, smart individuals on a daily basis. My co-workers really are the best.
Best dress on RTR right now: I absolutely love the new Floral Sunday Blues dress by Opening Ceremony. It has a great flare style, something that I always gravitate toward.
Go-to playlist: We listen to Pandora at the office, and my favorite station right now is Ellie Goulding radio.
Typical weekday lunch: I always eat at my desk. Most of the time I run and grab Hale and Hearty. I have a strange obsession with soup.
Morning routine: Wake up and run out the door. I love my sleep so I will press snooze as many times as I can to get that extra 5 minutes of shut eye.
Currently reading en route to work: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
Workout regimen: I am really bad about hitting the gym. I prefer classes like Pilates or Pure Barre.
Favorite spot for an after work drink: Diablo Royale in the West Village.
Best piece of advice: My dad is great at giving simple yet meaningful advice. He always tells me that as long as you’re happy and putting more into your position than what is expected of you, your growth in the company will be exponential.
My mentor: My mentor is my first and former boss, Gabby Munoz. She pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of and challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone. She is both a mentor and a friend.
In 10 years: I hope to be just as happy if not happier than I am now, and to still have a job that I love. I want to be just as excited about my career path as I was when I first graduated a year and a half ago.
Words of wisdom for young professional women: Never put in less than you are capable of. Your superiors always notice how hard you work. If you know that you have given 100 percent, there won’t be a question when it comes time for that promotion or raise.